The Electoral Commission in Honiara.
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The Leader of the Independent Group in Parliament and MP for North New Georgia, Hon John Dean Kuku, has urged the Solomon Islands Government to swiftly fill in the vacancies of Chairman and a Commissioner at the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC).

The SIEC comprises of a Chairman, two appointed members, and the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) who is an ex-officio on the commission. Members are appointed by the Governor General acting on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission under the Constitutional (Amendment) (Electoral Reform) Act 2018.

In February 2023, the Chairman and one of the two Commissioner positions of the SIEC were vacated after the resignations of Hon John Patteson Oti, Speaker of Parliament, and Mr. Dick Pirione, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Provincial Government.

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The Leader pointed out that the “timely appointment of these officials is crucial to the implementation of the synchronization of elections reform, a primary reason given by the Prime Minister for the recent extension of the 11th Parliament from May to December 2023, delaying the national general election to 2024.”

“The synchronization of elections requires amendments to certain provisions in relevant Acts. The two main ones are the Provincial Government Act, and the Electoral Act. The SIEC needs to be fully functional to provide leadership, planning and oversight in preparation for the 2024 national general elections,” the Leader said.

“The appointment of a Chairman and Commissioner to the SIEC is an urgent priority that cannot be delayed. We need to ensure the commission is fully equipped and staffed to carry out its crucial role in overseeing the electoral process, said Hon Kuku.

“Any delay in appointing the necessary officials could have serious consequences on the electoral reform, which is designed to combine national, provincial, and Honiara City Council elections.”

The Leader also stressed the importance of the government’s commitment to electoral reform, which includes the modernization of the electoral system and implementation of key reforms to ensure integrity of the election process.

“We call on government to demonstrate its commitment to electoral reform by filling the vacancies at the SIEC. Failure to do so would be a disservice to the people of Solomon Islands and would undermine the credibility of the electoral process” said the Leader.

Kuku concluded by calling on all stakeholders to support the government’s efforts to implement electoral reforms and ensure that the election process is fair, transparent, and credible.



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