Former diplomat and Trade Negotiations Envoy, Mr. Robert Sisilo, has expressed concerns on the decision by the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) to conduct the public hearing process for Malaita Outer Islands (MOI) in Honiara, and not in the MOI constituency (Luaniua, Pelau & Sikaiana) proper.
In a phone conversation with Chief Electoral Commissioner Polycarp Haununu last week, Mr. Haununu told Mr. Sisilo, who hails from Sikaiana, that due to lack of funds, MOI’s public hearing will not be held on the three islands but in Honiara.
Mr. Haununu also confirmed that all the remaining 49 constituencies will however have their hearings at the respective constituencies, not in Honiara.
“But why treat MOI differently from the rest? They too have a file of claims and stories to tell their Revising Officer on their provisional list of voters in the hope that they will be heard and listened to,” Mr Sisilo protested.
“In fact public notices for hearings have already been circulated and people on the islands, costly it may arguably be to get there, are keenly looking forward to this very important exercise.
“To deny them this opportunity is simply not fair.”
Mr. Sisilo strongly feels that just like voting, public hearings must be conducted at all the constituencies without exception.
“No constituency should be treated differently be it for budgetary reasons or relatively less claims to consider.
“For the people of Luaniua, Pelau & Sikaiana too have their stories to tell and must be heard in this supposed-to-be a fully inclusive process.”