24 Jan 2019

Party leaders says Solomons Electoral Act is unconstitutional

4:40 pm on 24 January 2019

A political party leader in Solomon Islands says campaign restrictions imposed under the country's new Electoral Act are oppressive and unconstitutional.

The Solomon Islands flag

The Solomon Islands flag Photo: RNZI

Earlier this week the chief electoral officer Mose Saitala warned intending election candidates against electioneering before the start of the official campaign period.

But the president of the People's Progressive Party Charles Dausabea said this goes against basic freedoms of expression, assembly and association which are in the constitution.

Mr Dausabea said the restrictions are particularly oppressive given 80 percent of Solomon Islanders live in rural areas and 70 percent of them are illiterate.

"It is such a big blow to the people that they already lack good information that should be exchanged during this time until the time of the election so they can make better choices and they can decide of choosing a good leader. In my view it is a second deprivation to the people in the rural areas."

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