23 Jul 2019

Dozens of electoral fraudsters off the hook in Solomon Islands

3:56 pm on 23 July 2019

Dozens of electoral fraudsters in Solomon Islands could be off the hook because of a delay in gazetting the country's new Electoral Act last year.

Solomon Islands election result board

Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Koroi Hawkins

More than a hundred electoral violations were identified during voter registration in August last year and police arrested one man, ahead of this year's April election, who registered to vote seven times using different names.

But the chief electoral officer Mose Saitala said they recently discovered that government officials did not gazette the new Act until September, despite it being submitted in August.

"So, registrations were done at the time that the new Electoral Act was not in force yet. So, they [prosecutors] said well it would be quite difficult to extend the arm of the law of this new Electoral Act to the weeks before it became officially by gazette notice."

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