Solomon Islands election 2024: NZDF in Honiara ‘to support the democratic process’

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) contingent to support the smooth running of the Solomon Islands 17 April joint national and provincial elections has landed in the capital Honiara.

The Solomon Islands Elections Commission (SIEC) has confirmed that almost 320 offical candidates will be running for the national election, with 19 women candidates.

The NZDF deployment is part of the New Zealand government’s assistance package for logistical support for the election, which includes the HMNZS Canterbury carrying two Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters to be used to assist the SIEC to transport polling boxes and election officials to various locations.

“New Zealand has always had a close relationship with Solomon Islands – most recently when the country hosted the Pacific Games last year, as well as our ongoing Solomon Islands assistance mission,” the Commander of the 200-strong Joint Task Force from New Zealand, Colonel Anthony Childs, said.

“We’ve been invited back by the government on this occasion to support the democratic process. The team and I look forward to partnering with our Pacific whānau and ensuring that everyone has a chance to vote.”

Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Commissioner Mostyn Mangau met with the contingent commander after the ship arrived in Honiara on Thursday.

The ship sailed from New Zealand on 26 March and will be in Solomon Islands throughout the election, the Defence Force said.

the NZDF deployed two NH90s and 89 personnel to support local police, alongside military forces from Australia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji during the Pacific Games last year.

The official ballot papers for the 2024 joint election are printed and arrived this week into the country on Tuesday.

Ballot papers ready

The SIEC said the official ballot papers – totalling a record one million – for the joint elections in the country on Tuesday.

“Voters in the provinces of Western and Choiseul will cast one ballot paper for their choice in the national parliament and will not vote for their provincial assembly representative.

The electoral office said the ballots were also printed in record time, ensuring that they were in place at least two weeks before the poll day and ready for distribution to all provincial centres.

Chief electoral officer Jasper Anisi has thanked the Australian government for its support in making sure that the ballot paper was ready for the election.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button