A TOTAL of 14 candidates are vying for a seat in next month’s bye-election for Central Honiara and North East Guadalcanal constituencies at the close of nomination on Wednesday.
Ten candidates have been nominated and registered to contest the Central Honiara Constituency while four (4) for the North East Guadalcanal constituency.
The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) yesterday confirmed the numbers after the closing of nominations at 4 pm.
“Only 14 candidates have been nominated for the two Constituencies by-election,” the statement said.
The statement has it that those candidates have already gone through by completing their forms with the returning Officers and have their photos taken.
Two former prime ministers are also in the political race for the top spot since the ousting of the former Members of Parliament (MPs) for the two constituencies.
The ten candidates for Central Honiara include 3 females and 7 males.
For N/East Guadalcanal one female and 3 males.
Female candidates for Central Honiara include Pauline Radoe Firisua, Rose Annie Anilabata, and Jennifer Fugui. All are contesting as Independent Candidates.
The male candidates for Central Honiara include runners up of the last election- Alfred Efona, Gordon Darcy Lilo, Joseph Douglas, Michael Tofu Saru, Frank Aote’e, Frank Sade Bilaupaine and Barnabas Bosokuru Henson.
Efona was the runner up of the last election behind John Moffat Fugui and will be contesting under the Solomon Islands United Party (UP) whilst Lilo is contesting under Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement, Aote’e with People First party, and the other four are independent.
For North East Guadalcanal, a runner up of the last election Derek Sikua is contesting under the Solomon Islands Democratic Party (SIDP), whilst Mr. Tavali under United Party.
Both Mr. Norua and the only female candidate Mrs. Ethel Lency are contesting as Independent.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Jane Waetara in a statement yesterday said the above names are still subjected to candidate’s withdrawal given the due date for candidate’s withdrawal will be tomorrow, Friday 9th October, 2020.
“Registered candidates for the North East Guadalcanal and Central Honiara by-election have until 4 pm on Friday 9th October 2020” to withdraw their candidacies,” she said.
Mrs. Waetara said any candidate who wishes to withdraw his/her nomination must submit in writing to the returning officer of his/her constituency regarding his/her decision to withdraw.
“Nomination of candidate closed 4pm Wednesday 7th October 2020 and therefore final date for withdrawal is on Friday 9th October 2020,” she said.
She added that any request for withdrawal must reach the respective returning officers within 48 hours from 4 pm on the close of date of the candidates’ nomination period.
“The returning officer will respond to any withdrawal request in writing to confirm his/her acceptance of the request.
“Please note that withdrawal of your candidacy does not grant a refund of nomination fees as nomination fees are not refundable in any circumstance,” she added.
The CEO said in terms of ballot paper draw, it is very important in fair positioning of candidates on the ballot paper.
She said that to determine candidates’ placement on the ballot paper, the returning officer will do a ballot paper draw.
“The ballot paper draw for this by-election is scheduled for Monday 12th Oct, at respective nomination centres,” she said.
She added that, returning officer’s notice on the details of the ballot paper draw will also be posted out at the nomination centre and in newspapers.
“The venues for ballot paper draw are, Komuvatha, Balasuna Bible Way for North East Guadalcanal and Honiara City Council Education conference (upstairs) for Central Honiara,” she said.
She explained that candidates are not placed on the ballot paper in the order in which nomination is received, but a blindfolded method will be used, whereby the candidate’s name are randomly drawn from a drawing box by the returning officer.
“This is to ensure that nominated candidates are placed in a fair and neutral way on the ballot paper,” she said.
The next eye-election is for South Choiseul Constituency early next year.
By IAN M.KAUKUI