People have been travelling for the past two days and nights, making huge journeys back to their constituencies to vote. Absentee voting is not permitted in the November 19 elections, so people from the outer islands must travel to their home provinces to place their ballots. Bransby was standing on the jetty in Honiara, as hundreds of voters queued for boats for days and nights, to return home to exercise their democratic rights. This will be Solomon Islands’ first general election since the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) military personnel left the country late last year.
RAMSI was sent into the country in 2003 to help the government and security forces regain control after a crippling civil war and threats from militants.
Despite fears of corruption in this year’s historic election, the electoral commission has promised that the new voter registration system will mean fewer corrupt practices than seen in past elections.
New laws have also been introduced to encourage political parties play a greater role throughout the term.