Photo credit @ SIEC


THE Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) Deputy Police Commissioner Operations, Juanita Matanga, has called for cooperation and togetherness ahead of the 2024 joint general election on April 17, citing that any destruction of ballot boxes will not be tolerated.

The Deputy Police Commissioner of Operations made the comments when asked about an alleged incident related to the act of vandalism, including damaging ballot boxes and ballots at a polling station in East Fataleka Constituency, Malaita Province, during the country’s previous 2019 national general election.

“I am aware that some of the constituencies have some issues, and one of the constituencies is the one that the question was asked about. We prepared for that,’’ Matanga said. “Hence, this constituency will be of priority for RSIPF in this upcoming election.”

The assurance made by the Deputy Police Commissioner of Operations acts as a warning to eligible voters in the 50 constituencies in the country.

“If voters want to exercise their democratic right to choose a leader, it is important for them to comply with the electoral laws of the country,” she said.

She also called on the contesting candidates to ensure people maintain unity and behave in a respectable manner on the polling day set for Wednesday, April 17th, 2024.

“It also applies to the intending candidates that if you want to be a leader for your constituency, then show good examples to our people, voters, that you can make a difference by ensuring that our people behave in a way that is accepted.

“So that’s my call for every one of us looking forward to this polling day. Again, it comes back to us. We need to work together. We prepare for the areas where we called hot spots, but it comes back to all of us that we need to work together so that our election is peaceful,’’ the Deputy Commissioner of Operations said.

She also warned about the importance of verifying election-related information before it is shared for public consumption by candidate agents or the general public.

“If you are involved in the process of the election assigned by the electoral commission, you must work closely with electoral commission staff and RSIPF to ensure the information given out to the public is verified and does not cause disharmony between our people,’’ she said.


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