4 Aug 2010

Solomons' general election proceeding peacefully

2:08 pm on 4 August 2010

There has been a relatively trouble free start to the general elections in Solomon Islands today with security forces and observers monitoring voting.

Authorities are determined to prevent a repeat of the breakdown in security that led to rioting in the captial after the 2006 election.

Jo O'Brien has been out among Honiara's voters.

"There had been reports that tensions would be high in the capital because of controversy surrounding the bringing in of non-resident voters to register in west Honiara. But so far voting appears to have proceeded peacefully in Honiara and across the provinces, although one presiding officer said some people could not find their names on the list and might not be able to vote. Police and RAMSI officers have been visible at polling stations and on the streets of the capital this morning. Voters spoken to say they savour a change, with several expressing a preference for the OUR Party of former prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, with its pro-development policies."