20 Feb 2006

Call for chair of Solomon Islands Electoral Commission to resign

2:15 pm on 20 February 2006

There's a call in Solomon Islands for the chairman of the Electoral Commission, Sir Peter Kenilorea, to resign.

A former chief electoral officer, John Babalu, says Sir Peter cannot be seen by other parties to be neutral because he's the president of the United Party which launched its manifesto last Friday.

The SIBC reports Mr Babalu as saying that the position should be held by a person not affiliated to any political party and it's a breach of the constitution.

He says the Governor General should intervene and choose somebody more neutral.

But, Sir Peter says his position as president of the United Party is legally within provision of the constitution which allows for free association.

And, he says since he does not intend to contest the general elections, he's not obliged to resign from his position as Speaker of Parliament or Chairman of the Electoral commission.