BY ALEX DADAMU
THE effectiveness of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has been shown by the Australian National University (ANU) Observation Report for the 2019 National General Election (NGE).
The statement was uttered by the Chair to the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) and Speaker of the National Parliament, His Right Honorable, Patterson Oti during the launch of the ANU 2019 National General Election (NGE) Observation Report.
“As the first general election after the departure of RAMSI, a finding that the preparation and conduct of the election in 2019 was credible, free and fair would be an affirmation of the effectiveness of RAMSI supports in the past and that the Solomon Islands Government and the Electoral Commission are capable of conducting a credible, free and fair elections,” Mr. Patterson Oti said.
The Electoral Commission Chairperson went on to say that observation of national elections, by international observers, takes heighten importance, especially in post-conflict countries such as the Solomon Islands. The findings by international observers that the election is credible, free and fair can go a long way in strengthening people’s confidence in the election process, promote national reconciliation and a booster for peace-building efforts.
Mr. Oti, however, expresses that while all of those details are good for the maintenance of international relations and the credibility of the Solomon Islands as a sovereign state, the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission, however, wants more than just a declaration that the preparation and conduct of the election were credible, free and fair.
“We crave for credible information that will help us improve and strengthen our election processes and procedures because we know we need to improve our performance.”