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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Other Election Updates from Joe Inomae (SIBC)

Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza says he's confident of retaining his Savo-Russell Islands seat with a landslide. In an interview with the national broadcaster SIBC, Sir Allan says he is confident because he had received strong support everywhere he went in Savo. During his campaign trips hundreds of supporters usually turn up to welcome him, sing hymns and carry him high on a chair to where he made his campaigns.

The National Election is now rolling but I thought I would like to update you with yesterday's reports from the provinces.

Honiara has been buzzing with supporters of the candidates vying for the three urban seats driving down the main street and through the suburbs waving placards in support of the various candidates. A total of 453 candidates are contesting the 50 seats in the Parliament with the East Honiara seat registering the highest number of 20 candidates. Some 13 political parties are contesting the elections including the two partners in the current government, the Peoples Alliance Party and the Association of Independent Members. Today's polling has opened at 7 am local time and close at 5 pm at the 802 polling stations around the country. Counting of votes in most of the constituencies will not start until Thursday with the first results not expected until the late afternoon of the same day.

Forty-six international and 80 domestic observers are expected to observe today’s election.
Both the international and local media are having a feast of a time covering the election. Radio Australia and Radio New Zealand International are among the overseas media covering the event. The local media including national broadcaster SIBC and the Government Communications Unit have also deployed their reporters and staff to various locations in Solomon Islands to bring home the news to the people.

Some News about the Elections regarding North Malaita
Last Friday hundreds of passengers who were going to cast their votes on Malaita were stranded at Point Cruz as the generator of the MV Temotu failed to work. The boat was scheduled to leave at 6:30pm for Auki, Malu'u and Makwanu in North Malaita and Lau/Mbaelelea constituencies. Despite efforts to fix the generator it didn't start until Saturday. Some of the passengers had to sit it out on the ship for over 30 hours at Point Cruz. The MV Temotu eventually left for Malaita at 10pm Saturday. Many wantoks from North Malaita and Lau/Mbaelelea Constituencies left on the ship for home.

In the past few days the sea traffic was very, very busy as working people and their family members went to their various home provinces to cast their votes in the election. The Shortland Islands ship, MV Biko, Sa'alia, the Temotu, the Solomon Express and the Pelican Express were frequent visitors to different ports of Malaita.

Preliminary indications are that it would be a two-man race between out-going MP Daniel Enele Kwanairara and Reverend Michael Maeliau for our North Malaita constituency. However, someone may spring a surprise, that too is possible, only the result will confirm our new MP. But whoever is elected, we must make a vow to help him in whatever way we can to realise the dreams and aspirations of the North Malaita people.

More election news can be viewed at

Reports from: Joseph Inomae (Senior Reporter, SIBC)
Pictures from: ABC Radio Australia


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