Senior Provincial Electoral Officials for Guadalcanal and Honiara began the series of election training in preparation for the 2024 Joint Election in April yesterday.
The training took place in Honiara and was facilitated by the Solomon Islands Electoral Office (SIEO) Operations and Training Team.
SIEO Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner Jasper Highwood Anisi in his opening statement acknowledged the Election Officials for being part of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) 2024 Joint Election Field Operation.
He reminds them that as Electoral Officers their mandate under the Electoral Act 2018, is an extension of the powers conferred to the Chief Electoral Officer under relevant provisions of the Electoral Act.
Mr. Anisi also took the opportunity to remind the Electoral Officials of the fundamentals of the Elections.
“For elections to truly reflect the will of the people, several core values must be upheld and they are; integrity, neutrality, transparency, fairness, and respect for the voter secrecy,” he said.
He further made a stern warning that as an Electoral Official for the 2024 Joint Election, they must be seen as politically independent.
“You must not be drawn into political discussions or make political statements of any kind. You should also undertake your duties and responsibilities in an impartial manner free from any political influence,” CEO Anisi said.
He also added that respect for voters’ secrecy is paramount, voting is a deeply personal act, and individuals should feel confident that their vote will remain confidential.
“Upholding these core values ensures that the will of the people is accurately represented, fostering trust in the electoral process and promoting civic engagement,” CEO Anisi said.
Meanwhile, the training for the electoral officers covers two significant parts of the electoral process
Part one covers Notices and Nomination while part two covers Polling and Counting.
The training participants were Election Managers, Provincial Accountants, Returning Officers for Constituencies, Returning Officers for Wards, Communication and Administration Officers, Training coordinators, and Awareness Coordinators.
SIEC continues to acknowledge the Australian government, New Zealand Government, UNDP – DFAT, and EU, Support, the Solomon Islands Government, and other donors who have helped fund this election exercise.
CEO Anisi also acknowledges the New Zealand Electoral Commission (NZEC), Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), and The Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand Electoral Administrators Network (PIANZEA), Electoral Management Bodies who have supported one way or the other.
The Electoral Commission is an independent and impartial permanent body established under the Constitution to promote and strengthen democracy in the Solomon Islands through the delivery of free and fair elections.
An independent organization that provides excellence in electoral administration that results in strong public confidence, providing Solomon Island citizens with high-quality, accessible, professional electoral services through the conduct of impartial and independent elections.
For Election Happenings, follow SIEO’s Facebook @SIelectoralcommission page and website on www.siec.gov.sb Or for general inquiries, you can call the office hotline phone on 7222200 or landline 21198.