Caretaker PM’s supporters furious over MV Maetalau’s late arrival
More than two hundred supporters and voters of the caretaker Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo have been denied their rights to vote after the boat transporting them fail to arrive on time before 5pm on Wednesday.
MV Maetalau was said to be chartered by three candidates; Gordon Darcy Lilo, George Solingi Lilo and Charles Sigoto.
It was believed more than 300 voters boarded MV Maetalau which left Honiara at 2.10am early yesterday morning.
A voter and passenger on board the vessel, told the Solomon Star that the boat was supposed to leave at 8pm on Tuesday night but could not make it since it arrived late from Malaita at 1am in Honiara.
“And so we left Honiara at 2.10am early this morning (Wednesday) and we could not make it on time. Although we tried our best to vote, we were denied be we cannot make it to Ringi on time, ” the voter to wants to remain anonymous said.
She said all those where were on board were really disappointed.
Asked if the boat was chartered she said, “Yes, it was chartered by the three candidates.”
The voter said said more than 300 voters were on the boat and more than 200 of them were Gordon Darcy Lilo’s voters.
Our informer said, she was able to confirm this because they went to verify their tickets at the Red house (PM’s house) before their departure.
She said about eight outboard motors (OBM) approached the ship at North New Georgia point to pick up all the voters.
But by that time it was 3.30pm. When further asked if any boat was able to make it on time to cast their ballots she said, “None.”
When asked what caused the delay she explained, MV Maetalau was on charter to Auki and should have returned straight to Honiara to pick them up, but instead it made another charter run to Ata’a which resulted in the late run.
“This made us so disappointed because it was not our fault but that of the boat’s bosses,” the voter said.
She said MV Maetalau finally berthed at Ringi wharf at 6pm yesterday evening and left for Gizo half an hour later.
The boat was reported to have arrived in Gizo between 8.30 and 9pm last night.
This left more than 300 eligible voters to missing out to cast their ballots for their candidates yesterday.
Some of Sigoto’s supporters were utterly disappointed with the late arrival. Most of them were expected to return on the same boat.
Sigoto was contesting the Ranoggah/Simbo seat while Solingi was was contesting the Rendova/Tetepare seat.
While this unfortunate incident did not go down well with the three candidates and their supporters, it will produce interesting results, when counting starts.
By Daniel Namosuaia