THE by-election for Central Honiara Constituency and North East Guadalcanal Constituency (NEGC) was dubbed ‘peaceful’ despite minor changes with the inclusion of COVID-19 measures in the voting process.
All polling stations opened their doors at 7 am in the morning.
The majority of the voters flocked in to cast their votes in the morning. By afternoon only a few people came to cast their votes.
For the first time given the pandemic, all voters have been advised to follow COVID-19 rules by washing their hands and practicing social distancing.
The Solomon Star caught up with some observers yesterday which they also described the polling day as very peaceful.
Most polling agents also made similar sentiments.
They said despite the COVID-19 measure included in the polling process the voters are very cooperative.
“We try to uphold the social distancing which it works only when the voters stand in a queue to mark their ballot paper and put it inside the ballot box.
“With regards to voters finding their names on the voters list social distancing was not working very well due to voters rushed in to find their names,” one polling agent said.
Most of the voters in the Central Honiara Constituency turned up in numbers in the morning to cast their ballot paper.
A voter told this paper that Central Honiara Constituency has been without a leader to represent them in the Parliament and this by-election is very important.
“I grew up in the Central Honiara Constituency and I have seen the hardship here but today I believe I cast my ballot paper for a winning candidate who can address our situation,” the voter said.
Meanwhile, in the North East Guadalcanal Constituency eligible and registered voters also turned out in numbers to cast their ballot papers.
“Despite the downpour which disrupted some polling stations it did not stop the voters from visiting the polling stations to cast their ballot.
“Generally the turnout is very good and also peaceful,” a polling agent in GPPOL 3 told this paper during a trip to the area yesterday.
The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force had done an excellent job in providing security during the voting process.
All the polling stations in the two constituencies officially closed their doors at 5 pm.
The ballot boxes in North East Guadalcanal Constituency were transported to Honiara by RSIPF officers following the closure of voting.
All the boxes are being kept overnight by Police.
Meanwhile, counting starts at 10 am this morning at the Rove Police headquarters.