2 Mar 2006

Row in Solomon Islands over symbols for election candidates

9:40 am on 2 March 2006

The Electoral Commission in Solomon Islands is trying to explain the allocation of symbols to intending candidates.

Some political parties are reported to want symbols they have used in the past.

The Chief Electoral Officer, Musu Kevu says it is clear in the Electoral Act that Returning Officers for each constituency have power over the allotment of symbols.

The Returning Officer for the West Honiara Constituency, Loti Yates said if intending candidates did not like the rules, they would have the opportunity to change them when they were in parliament.

At least 45 international observers will be sent to monitor the national elections on April 5th.

The United States may join New Zealand, Australia, Commonwealth and Pacific observers.

They will monitor nearly 800 polling stations, with air transport expected to be used to lift them to remote areas two days before the vote.