18 Dec 2007

Forum to send election observer back to Marshalls

4:04 pm on 18 December 2007

The Pacific Islands Forum is to send an election observer back to the Marshall Islands next months amid ongoing concerns about last months poll.

The vote was marred by poor administration which saw some polling booths opening many hours late and postal votes reportedly not kept secure, while there has been increasing concern about the integrity of the results.

The Forum had a six-person team monitoring the voting and their interim report noted various administrative shortcomings but did not believe there had been unlawful interference with the electoral process.

Now a Forum official, Shemmia Spillane, says following the criticism, one of the team will go back in January to talk further to all the stakeholders before compiling a final report.

"We have obviously seen that, I think, both the main political parties have claimed there were irregularities. We want to make sure that we reflect the electoral process in its entirety and so we want to go back and investigate that a little bit more and talk to people before we come to a view."

Shemmia Spillane