His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui, on February 5th, officially proclamated the National General Election date in accordance with section 58 (3) of the Electoral Act 2018.
Sir Frank, on the advice of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission, proclaimed Wednesday, the 3rd April 2019 as the National General Election day.
Solomon Islands Electoral Office Chief Electoral Officer Mose Saitala said in the next seven days as of tomorrow (Feb 6th), notice of the National General Election date will be published in the 50 constituencies throughout the country by Returning Officers.
The candidate nomination period also commences tomorrow (Feb 6th) as stipulated in the Electoral Act, section 59 (a)(b) and ends 42 days before polling day.
Mr Saitala said intending candidates must file their nominations with Returning Officers of the constituency they want to contest in, no later than 4pm, Wednesday 20th February 2019.
He reminded intending candidates to adhere to nomination requirements to avoid disqualification.
“A candidate must be nominated by 3 registered voters who are registered and reside in the constituency where the candidate wants to stand; must be a registered voter; must pay a non-refundable nomination fee of$5,000; must resign from his/her job if he/she is a public servant; must not be involved in any work in relation to the conduct of voter registration within the last 12 months; and must file his/her nomination with the constituency Returning Officer before close of the nomination period,” Mr Saitala explained.
He added that a candidate who represents a political party must submit along with his/her nomination application form, a letter from the registrar of political party certifying that; he/she is a registered member of the political party for which he/she seeks nomination for and that he/she is a party candidate.
Pursuant to sction 62 of the Electoral Act, the Chief Electoral Officer further affirmed the election campaign period to commence from Wednesday, 6th February, untill Monday, 2nd April 2019, that is 24 hours before polling day
“It must end 24 hours before the polling day.”
Mr Saitala appealed to candidates, agents and voters to observe electoral laws during the electoral period.
“The new electoral offences and penalties are heavy, and will be enforced therefore parties concerned must execute activities within the bounds of electoral laws.”
He appealed to all citizens to respect the rule of law and exercise responsibility.