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Friday, March 31, 2006

Election Officials in Malaita threaten to resign

Source: SIBC Online News

There is a threat that the national election may not take place on Malaita Wednesday next week.

This is because the 14 Returning Officers on Malaita have threatened to resign from the election.

A spokesman for the Returning Officers, Charles Oge, says they are giving the Electoral Office up to four o'clock tomorrow to decide on the payment for the 741 Presiding Officers and Polling Assistants who will be manning the 247 polling stations on Malaita.

"We do not like Presiding Officers and Polling Assistants harassing them for the money due to them for their work during the election. This is the first time payments are being made direct to bank accounts of the workers. The new method of payment is unrealistic for people who live in the mountains areas of Malaita who do not have easy access to banking services".

Mr Oge says the Returning Officers want the 741 Presiding Officers and Polling Assistants to be paid immediately after the election closes at five o'clock in the afternoon on election day.

He says the Returning Officers have informed the Malaita Election Manager of the concern and would be submitting a petition to the Electoral Office in Honiara on the issue.

SIBC News has not been able to get the Chief Electoral Officer to comment.

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