20 Mar 2006

Solomon Islands to train both local and international election monitors

10:29 am on 20 March 2006

Solomon Islands is to provide domestic monitors to work along side a team of international observer during next month's national election.

There had been some anger that locals were not included when the government invited around 50 monitors from donor countries and agencies to observe the voting process.

Solomon Islands civil society groups had said local observers would be more effective and their involvement would help the community own the election result.

Now it has been decided that locals will be involved and advisor Immaculate Kassait says their work will complement the efforts of the international observers.

"Domestic observers of course are based here and of course there is an issue of them having a long term impact translating the issues. But international observers also play an important role in the electoral process. I think the two of them should always be seen as people that build into each other, more than competition - that is the thing that needs to be emphasised."