THE law governing voters is broadly defined and seems open to abuse which means these loopholes needs to be tighten up by the Electoral Office.
That’s according to the Australian National University (ANU) Department of Pacific Affairs report which was launched in Honiara on Wednesday this week.
The ANU Department of Pacific Affairs ran a large-scale election observation exercise in Solomon Islands prior to, during and following the national election held on the 3 April 2019.
In a brief ANU report, it stated that the risk is that the observable fact of cross-border registration will become an ever-greater feature of future elections and an increasing focus for potential candidates.
“Cementing cross-border registration as a feature of Solomon Islands electoral process would risk undermining the integrity and popular confidence in the legitimacy of that process,” the report stated.
It further pointed out that Solomon Islands is of course free to determine how its citizen should qualify to register to vote.
“At the very least however, Solomon Islanders and their elected representatives should debate the trend towards cross-border registration and its implications for their democracy,” the report stated.
Observations were conducted in 15 of Solomon Islands 50 constituencies by 90 observers, 77 of whom were Solomon Islanders.
The research comprised of direct election observations and almost 5000 citizens’ surveys.
By ANDREW FANASIA