A MEMBER of Parliament (MP) has blamed the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) for re-defining the term ‘Ordinary Resident’ in the new Electoral Act, which makes it too broad to enable cross-border registration.
Speaking to the Solomon Star on condition of anonymity, the MP said Ordinary Resident (OR) was specifically defined on the context of current residence or the place one call home.
Arguing that only constituents who are working or residing in the urban centres like Honiara, Gizo, Auki, Noro and in other provincial centres can choose whether they register to where they indigenously from or vote in the constituencies in town.
“But after the amendment of the Electoral Act last month in parliament you see the definition of Ordinary Resident now becomes too general and one cannot specific on who is eligible and who is not eligible to vote in any particular constituency of interest,” he explained.
The MP went on to reveal that many people in his constituency in Guadalcanal has joined the cross-border registration not because he told them to do so, but because they were lured by some intending candidates.
The MP is worried because his voting population is decreasing drastically.
“So, in fact, I’m losing out hundreds of constituents in my constituency because people feel that the amendment to the Electoral Act has broaden the definition of Ordinary Residents, thus they can now practice cross-border vote,” he said.
He added the amendment of the electoral act could be seen as legalizing cross-border voting.
“Because of this people are being denied of their rights to choose a leader of their choice in the place or region they currently reside,” the MP said.
He pointed out that cross-border voting is a clear evidence that people continue to dwell on the cargo cult mentality of free handouts.
By AATAI JOHN LAUNGI