Posted by: nativeiowan | February 19, 2013

Standard fare before any public election?

 

I really dig the fact that there is a big fine and a ban from politics for the crime of “Personation”.
Is this an indictment of the islands or what? “Mr Haununu said there are so many funds that had been spent on by-elections in the past regarding candidates losing their seats due to bribery and in breached of some other election offenses.”
“Certain illegal practices” is another one I really like…
Also: ““Elections have laws that guide candidates,” chief electoral officer Polycarp Haununu said.” How many out there remember Polycarp? A friend of PCVs from way back. Mark Stickle’s Honiara home-stay daddy.  A good guy… And crooked as a clothes hanger.

Ngella candidates warned

CANDIDATES contesting the Ngella by-elections are warned to conduct their campaigns fairly and legitimately.
It is one of the things I really like about the islands… the childish innocence of it all…
Constituents there will go to the polls on February 27 to elect their new MP, following the jailing of former MP Mark Kemakeza.“Elections have laws that guide candidates,” chief electoral officer Polycarp Haununu said.

“Officials and voters and the general public and individuals that are in breached of these laws or electoral offenses face their penalties when found guilty in court.”

Mr Haununu said there are so many funds that had been spent on by-elections in the past regarding candidates losing their seats due to bribery and in breached of some other election offenses.

“It is therefore important that candidates and voters are retold again on these offenses and their penalties to avoid repetition of these consequences.

“There are several election petitions court cases that have been filed in the past against winning candidates and officials and have resulted in some candidates losing their parliamentary seats,” Mr Haununu said.

“This should be a lesson learnt for all contesting candidates who will be standing for Ngella Parliamentary seat this coming by-election.

“And they should be reminded of these bribery and voter influences court case scenarios and should ensure that their actions are within the bounds of law.”

Mr Haununu urged candidates to assist Electoral Commission to avoid such scenarios and consequences happening again.

He also called on the general public to be careful and cautious in their involvement in this whole election process since the Electoral law does not apply for candidates only but for all, both officials and voters as-well.

“The election law is in effect as soon as the Governor General announces the date for the election”, Mr Haununu said.

“Once the Returning Officer has accepted the nomination form and a $2,000 nomination fee from candidates during the nomination period, a candidate officially begins their campaign under the laws governing campaigning practices.

“A candidate must not spend more than $50,000 during this campaign period, and must submit an account of their expenditure to the Returning Officer after the election.”

Below is a complete table of the Electoral Offenses and their penalties: 

Offence Old penalty New penalty
Voting when not entitled or voting more than once $100 $3000

And/or imprisonment not exceeding 3 months.

Breaching candidate expenditure limit $100 $3000

And/or imprisonment not exceeding 3 months.

False answer to challenge questions in a polling station $100 $3000

And/or imprisonment not exceeding 3 months.

Offences in respect of nomination papers $200 $5000

And/or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months.

Infringement of secrecy $100 $3000

And/or imprisonment not exceeding 3 months.

Bribery, treating or undue influence $200 $5000

And/or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months. Disqualification for five years from being a Member of Parliament or registered to vote.

Personation $100 $3000

Disqualification for five years from being a Member of Parliament or registered to vote.

Certain illegal practices $100 $3000

Disqualification for three years from voting.

Interference with lawful public meeting $100 $3000

Disqualification for three years from voting.

Display of emblems in vicinity of polling place $20 $1000

 

The Electoral Commission calls on everyone to take responsibility for enforcing these electoral laws.

“If people see people breaking these laws, they should report the matter to their local police officer,” he said.

 

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Responses

  1. See, before, if you voted illegally, and you were friends with the right people, you didn’t have to pay the $100 fine.

    But now, if you vote illegally, and you are friends with the right people, you don’t have to pay the $3,000 fine … so clearly the Solomons just saved itself $2,900.

    What’s not to like?

    w.


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