Stiffer penalities for election offences introduced in Solomons

10:34 am on 4 September 2018

The recently revised Electoral Act in the Solomon Islands has significantly increased penalties for election related offences.

Voters registering in the Solomon Islands.

Voters registering in the Solomon Islands. Photo: Supplied

Bribery tops the list, with candidates guilty of buying votes or voters deemed to have solicited the sale of their votes now liable to be fined $US19,000 $SB150,000 and jailed for 15 years.

Interfering with ballot papers or ballot boxes now carries a fine of $US6,400 and jail time of five years, as does using violence, intimidation or threats to influence another person to vote or refrain from voting.

The revised act also increases campaign expenses for candidates from $US6,400 to $US64,000.

Another offence under the revised Act is inciting election boycott.

This applies to a person who has customary authority or religious influence over a group of people.

Such a person could be fined $US3,800 and jailed for three years or three years if they are found to have caused a group to refrain from voting.

The Chief Electoral Officer Mose Saitala said the revised act coincided with the Biometric Voter Registration Update that started on Monday and runs until September 27.

Those who had already registered should check their names against the Provisional Voter List at their respective Voter Registration Centers, he said.

A photo Voter ID card will be issued on the spot to all new eligible voters and those that have never registered before.