Solomons’ electoral commission calls for calm after 2 MPs lose seats

The National Parliament of Solomon Islands in Honiara. Photo: RNZ Koroi Hawkins

The head of the Solomon Islands’ Electoral Commission is calling for calm after two government MPs lost their seats on Friday.

Education Minister Moffat Fugui and first time MP Jamie Vokia were found guilty of bribing voters ahead of the 3 April elections last year.

As a result of the successful petitions brought against them, the two MPs are banned from voting or standing in any election in Solomon Islands for five years.

Chief electoral officer Mose Saitala said he understood tensions between supporters of the now former MPs and their petitioners would be high, but he appealed to the community to keep the peace.

“We sincerely beg the people to respect the law. That is the law enacted by Parliament.

“We also hope that when we conduct the by elections in the next few months it will be peaceful and that everybody participates.”

Mr Saitala said there were 18 petition cases still before the High Court, six of them had been to trial and were awaiting judgement.

Under the new Electoral Act, all petitions had to be done by May.

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