THE Solomon Islands Electoral commission (SIEC) Chair, Paterson Oti has thanked the visiting Commonwealth team who have handed over to him the 2019 National General Election observation report.
The report was officially handed over by Chair of the team Sato Kilman Livtuvanu of Vanuatu, in a ceremony last Sunday.
In receiving the report, Mr Oti thanked the Commonwealth Chair and all persons within the observer team for their frank views and observations with regards to the electoral processes leading to the poling day and during the counting of votes.
The Speaker of Parliament said the Commission has taken into accounts all considerations, views and suggestions in the report especially on where improvements can be made.
“The commission must also admit that work on electoral reform that started in 2015 is yet to be completed and the passing of the Electoral Act 2015 has more that needs to be done to enable the commission to do pre-registration of 17 years old and taking over the full responsibility for Provincial Government elections,” he added.
Mr Oti said much of the issues raised in the observers’ report are inter-growth to issues to be addressed in to the continuation of the electoral reform process.
“These issues include amongst others the expansion of classes of people qualified to pre-polling, conduct of out of constituency voting, deepening of the voter education program and not the least to rescheduling our electoral election time line to ensure that we conduct voter registration an update everyday with the final list of electors published on the day parliament dissolves,” he stated.
He highlighted the two key findings of the observation which include the law participation of women as candidates and being the ambiguity associated with the definition of ordinarily resident.
“Subjecting therefore, the registration system took potential abuse and the problem of cross border is a direct result of a failure to practically implement our workable definition of an ordinarily resident,” he added.
Mr Oti said with the help of development partners, the Commission with all stakeholders will work harder to get more women to participate as effective candidates as well reworking the definition of ordinary resident that is practical to be implemented and enforced,” he said.
He said those reports will also be used to help when forming the policy position to certain aspects of the election processes.
By IAN M.KAUKUI