12 Aug 2005

Solomon Islands election official hails new voting measure

10:21 am on 12 August 2005

The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission says the newly introduced single ballot system will be cheaper in the long term for the country.

The Chief Electoral Officer, Martin Karani says the initial stages of the introduction of the system will be expensive, because of the cost of disseminating the information to the country at large.

He however says after that phase is over, the administration cost will be lower.

Mr Karani says because of the scattered features of the country, the single ballot system would be much easier to handle.

He says the commission believes Solomon Islanders will adapt fast to the new system.

Mr Karani's comments follow the announcement by Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza this week that the next national election in 2006 will use the single ballot system.

Election officials are concerned that the present system of multiple ballot boxes is open to abuse and vote-buying.