31 May 2006

Solomon Islands MPs yet to account for campaign spending during elections

9:40 am on 31 May 2006

The Electoral Commission in Solomon Islands is yet to receive any accounts of the totals of campaign spending by candidates in the recent elections.

The chief electoral officer, Musu Kevu, says there is a requirement for candidates to file a return but it's not something they're able to monitor or follow up because the commission only has limited funds.

There were widespread allegations of candidates treating or bribing voters in their constituencies.

Mr Kevu says there is a set limit of 7,000 U.S. dollars but it's very difficult to monitor.

"So far, we have not received any report from the candidates on how much they've spent. But, one thing about that legislation is over the years, it's never been carried out. And, also it's hard to monitor how much actually each candidate spends during the election."

Meanwhile, Mr Kevu says they'll be recommending to parliament that postal voting and some form of identity card are introduced to eliminate the issues with double registrations that occurred during the last elections.