TODAY Wednesday 18th November 2020 is a public Holiday for North East Guadalcanal and Central Honiara Constituencies.
Chief Electoral Officer, Mrs. Jane Waetara confirmed in a statement upon receiving a copy of the gazette notice by the Minister of Home Affairs and advice from the Attorney.
Mrs. Waetara clarified, that public Offices and businesses house that is located within the boundaries of these two constituencies may observe this day as a public holiday.
She further added that public offices and business houses operating within the boundary of northeast Guadalcanal and central Honiara constituencies who wishes to open their normal business hours on 18th November must note that, the labor Act prescribed that any person who works on a gazette public holiday shall be paid on holiday rates.
Offices and businesses outside the two constituency boundaries should go on the normal day-to-day business operations as the public holiday does not apply to them.
Voters who are working for businesses that are located outside the boundaries of these two constituencies will have to make a special arrangement with their respective companies’ human resource management to find time to vote.
Section 116 of the Electoral Act 2018 has also provided for employers to release employees who seek to be released to vote on Election Day. Failure to allow employees to vote is an election offence.
Employees regardless of where they work in or outside these two constituency boundaries, must consult and make arrangements with their employers if they want to vote on Election Day.
Failure to release employees is an election offense and is liable to a penalty of 10,000 dollars fine.
Electoral Act 2018, section 146 (2) states that polling day other than the national general election is a public holiday in any particular constituency.
Polling Day in National General Elections are public Holidays by default, however, in the case of by-elections, election day is only declared a public holiday for a particular constituency in a gazette by the responsible Minister.
The declared public holiday is only for that constituency concerned in which the by-election is happening.