6 Aug 2010

Vote counting in Solomon Islands election slower than expected

8:20 am on 6 August 2010

The chair of the Solomon Islands electoral commission says there are doubts that all the results from the national election will be in by Sunday as had been previously expected.

The first results have been declared but counting has been very slow in some areas.

Jo O'Brien reports from the Solomon Islands capital, Honiara.

"Before the election, the Commission said it expected allt eh results in by sunday, except in two small areas where the voting was delayed by the late arrival of election officials and supplies. But now its chair, Sir Peter Kenilorea, says he doubts that will be the case. He says the counting system is contributing to delays as each box contains votes for all the candidates, and all boxes have to be brought to provincial headquarters before counting can begin. He says counting is also slower in some constituencies in Honiara where there are many candidates. Several constituencies have been able to return results relatively quickly, with sitting MPs Job Dudley Tausinga returned in North New Georgia and Seth Gukuna in Rennell-Bellona. Sir Peter is also calling for reform of voter registration after some people could not vote because they were not on the electoral list."