Electoral reform taskforce takes consultation to Isabel

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A team representing the Task Force on Electoral Reform will hold a two-day consultation on March 23rd and 24th in Buala, Isabel Province.

A release from the Electoral Commission Office says, the consultations on election system change and electoral legislative reform, is expected to bring together 50 participants including members of the Provincial Assembly, community leaders, civil society representatives, women groups’ representatives, church leaders and NGOs.

“Isabel is the fifth province the task force is touring since it was tasked to undertake a comprehensive review of the National Parliament Electoral Provisions Legislation and the electoral legal framework in the Solomon Islands,” it says.

The team already held consultations in Choiseul, Western and Malaita Provinces in November and December last year; and Tulagi, Central Islands Province in February this year.

The provincial consultation process constituted 2 days at each province, with the first day being dedicated to looking at the possibility of a new election system for Solomon Islands as well as trying to elicit the views of participants on the sensitive question of introducing temporary special measures (TSM) to provide specific seats for women in Parliament.

The issue of introducing an anti-defection measure to bring about greater stability in the political arena was also an agenda item for day one.

The second day is scheduled to discuss possible changes to the existing electoral Act.

The rates of attendance and high level of participation/feedback at the 4 consultations completed so far were considered a significant success.

The consultations are held to obtain the views and wishes of people in terms of an electoral system that is fair and equitable.

Feedback from the consultations will be compiled into useable tables that will assist the Electoral Reform Taskforce in writing up its final report.

The general objective is to significantly improve the holding and delivery of elections in the Solomon Islands.

The Taskforce has been tasked to undertake a comprehensive review of the National Parliament Electoral Provisions Act (NPEPA) and the electoral legal framework in the Solomon Islands.

This includes the electoral system as well as the electoral processes.

The Task Force comprises representatives from the office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ministry of Home Affairs, Office of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission and Office of the Registrar of Political Parties.