Photo credit @ SIEC

ON April 17, eligible Solomon Islanders will go to the polls to elect their representatives to the National Parliament and most of the Provincial Assemblies. Many of our communities are witnessing a hive of political activities as political parties and individual candidates launch their campaign programs. 

The Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) acknowledged the importance of these elections and encouraged its members and citizens of the Solomon Islands to participate in the election process, either as candidates or voters. Solomon Islanders must exercise their rights to elect their national and provincial leaders as enshrined in our constitution. 

While the Church respects your right to vote for whatever party and candidate of your choice, we strongly encourage all voters to engage in prayerful discernment to identify candidates with a history of honesty, accountability, and integrity. This applies not only to candidates’ public but also their private lives. Voters should assess candidates’ track records from their previous employment, either as former members of parliament, assemblies, or other engagements. In the Bible, God cautioned the Israelites in the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 17, to be wary of kings or leaders who multiply or accumulate for themselves horses (weapons and power), wives (partners), and silver and gold (wealth). 

As nominated candidates and their supporters engage in their campaign activities, the ACOM calls on its clergy and lay members to advocate for peaceful, fair, and clean campaigns and elections. Candidates and their supporters must respect other candidates and their teams as they go about their campaigns. Candidates and their supporters should not make promises they know they cannot fulfill but use them only as’sweeteners’ to buy people’s votes. Voters must, in turn, refrain from accepting gifts or bribes that may influence them to vote in a particular way. In addition, we must not demand candidates any special favors for our promise to cast his or her votes.

Members of the ACOM clergy and lay workers must ensure they comply with relevant guidelines of the church by resigning from their current appointments if they wish to engage in any political activities, either as nominated candidates or campaign officials. Clergy members and lay workers should remain publicly neutral and should not be seen supporting any particular candidates unless they have relinquished their current positions within the church.

The Church further calls on its members and Solomon Islands citizens generally to accept whatever the outcomes of the elections are if they are certified to have been conducted in a fair manner in accordance with our laws. We must also respect the process of electing the Prime Minister and the formation of the next government. If we do not favor the outcome, there are more respectful and peaceful avenues to resolving our grievances instead of taking the law into our own hands.

The Anglican Church of Melanesia assures the National Government of Solomon Islands, Honiara City Council, and Provinces involved in these joint elections of our prayers. We pray for fair, peaceful, clean, and successful elections to elect our leaders who will lead us in ways of justice, peace, and prosperity. May God grant us discerning hearts and minds to freely decide who to vote for without coercion.


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