More than half of Solomon Islands election results in as counting continues

Solomon Islands Chief Electoral Officer Jasper Anisi
Solomon Islands Chief Electoral Officer Jasper Anisi . . . 68 percent of parliamentary seats have been declared, and 86 percent of provincial assembly seats. Image: Koroi Hawkins/RNZ Pacific

By Koroi Hawkins, RNZ Pacific editor in Honiara

More than 60 percent of the national results of the Solomon Islands election are now in.

So far, two female MPs have been elected and three former prime ministers may be in the running for the top job.

Counting is still progressing at a snail’s pace — partly because it took so long to transport ballot boxes from remote communities to counting centres, but also because the country is conducting its first joint election of provincial and national candidates.

As of Monday morning, Our Party, the largest single grouping in the last coalition government, was in the lead having won 32 percent of counted votes, followed closely by independent MPs on 31 percent.

Then came the Development Party on just under 17 percent, with the United Party rounding out the top four on 6.1 percent.

Chief Electoral Officer Jasper Anisi said that more than half of all national ballots had been counted.

“For parliamentary elections 68 percent — that is what they have already declared. Provincial assembly 86 and HCC [Honiara City Council] 82 percent.”

Seeking ‘good government’
RNZ Pacific spoke with some voters who asked to remain anonymous about their expectations.

“I want a good government, a good leader for us so that we can see some good,” one said.

“Like when there is a good government, our kids will have jobs. I won’t have to come to market all the time until I grow old.”

Another said: “I want a new prime minister for our economy so that it is good. Because the last prime minister or government, our economy is not good.”

Joint Elections - Voters in Solomon Islands are voting for both their national and provincial representatives. 17 April 2024
Joint Elections . . . voters in Solomon Islands are voting for both their national and provincial representatives. Image: RNZ Pacific/Koroi Hawkins

But it is still early days as far as coalition negotiations.

In terms of potential leaders, there are several former prime ministers already among those returning to the house, including incumbent Manasseh Sogavare, Rick Hou and potentially Gordon Darcy Lilo, who is leading the count by a large margin in his electorate.

Meanwhile, incumbent MP Freda Soria Comua and independent candidate Choylin Douglas are the first two women candidates to officially make it through in this election, while another independent candidate, Cathy Nori, has been mentioned in provisional results.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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