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Solomon Islands will go to the polls on 03 April.
The date for the National General Election was confirmed by the Governor-General this morning.
Sir Frank Kabui's proclamation marks the start of the official campaign period which will run until the day before the polls open.
The 14 day candidate nomination period starts on Wednesday and all those intending to run have been warned that unlike previous elections, they must return to their constituencies to have their nominations registered.
The Electoral Commission said nearly 360-thousand people had registered to vote, 72,000 more than the 2014 poll.
Training has already started for electoral officials who will run more than 1400 polling stations across the country's 50 constituencies.
It is the first election since the departure of the regional assistance mission known as RAMSI following instability in the early 2000s.
Meanwhile, the Political Parties Commission (PPC) has confirmed a total of 15 political parties have been registered to contest the National General Elections next month.
Registrar of the Political Parties Commission, Nairy Alamu confirmed in a recent radio talk-back show on the national broadcaster, SIBC.
She said few other parties had also submitted their applications to register with the Commission.
“Right now, we have 15 registered political parties in the country and one of two also are making their submissions but they won’t be considered until after the results of the coming elections. As of today, we have 15 registered political parties,” she said.
“It simply means that this country has a group of 15 organised bodies that have their symbols, they have their own constitutions, they have their party manifestos, their policies and their political work programmes etc.”
Alamu said from a civic awareness conducted, people in the country knew very little about what political parties were, their roles or why we need political parties.
“And that civic awareness is exactly on what is a political party, what roles they play, the importance of a political party or political parties per say and with few other topic. We covered four provinces including pockets of Honiara,”she said.
“It was the first time ever that such a civic or education awareness program has happened that is funded by SIG, government funded civic awareness. The people’s reaction is very interesting, in a sense that they said they never know why political parties existed”..
SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/SIBS/PACNEWS
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