By SIEO Media Awareness Unit
Voters from South Choiseul Constituency will now go to the poll to elect their Member of Parliament on 19th May, 2021.
This was confirmed by signing of the Election date instrument by His Excellency, the Governor-General, Sir. David Vunagi, which was later published in the gazette today.
Chief Electoral Officer, Mrs Jane Waetara said that By-Election Date legal instrument and its publication in the gazette initiates the 56 days election timeline lead up to Election Day.
Nomination of candidates will start from 24th March till 7th of April 2021. Candidates wishing to contest in the by-election are to see Returning Officer, Mr. Henry Deva who is stationed at Malangono Substation, the nomination center in South Choiseul Constituency to receive nominations.
South Choiseul Constituency parliamentary seat was vacant for almost a year, since Hon. Robertson Galokale had lost the seat through an election petition launched against him following the 2019 National General Election.
The publication of the election date has opened the legal election campaign period which begins from the 23rd March till midnight on the 17th May, 2021.
The Electoral Office wants to remind voters, candidates and their supporters that, campaigning outside the legal campaign period is an election offense with a heavy penalty.
Mrs. Waetara reiterates that “this by election is a result of finding candidates not complying with election rules and so intending candidates must be aware of the election rules and offences, to conduct themselves and their supporters in accordance to the Electoral Act”.
Section 124 of the Electoral Act 2018 provides a maximum penalty of $20,000, or 2 years imprisonment or both for a candidate convicted of campaigning outside the campaign period.
There is no voter registration update for these by elections; therefore, all voters registered for the 2019 NGE will remain as approved by the Electoral Commission.
Solomon Islands Electoral Commission would like to call on voters from South Choiseul Constituency and interested public to check all available media outlets for more updates regarding the by-election.
The Solomon Islands Electoral Office will also support administer 2 provincial assembly by-elections with the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening to deliver by-elections for Kirugela Ward in East Choiseul and Tikopia Anuta in Temotu Vatud, which are to be announced later with the polling day to also fall on the 19th of May 2021.