SOLOMONS ELECTIONS ON TRACK, SAYS COMMISSION CHAIR

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (August 11, 2001 - Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation/PINA Nius Online)---General election arrangements are on track and international observers are being invited to monitor the vote, Electoral Commission chair Paul Tovua said.

Tovua, who also is Speaker of Parliament, confirmed in Parliament that invitations had been sent to overseas governments and organizations.

Mr. Tovua said necessary activities leading up to the election date are progressing well ahead of schedule. But he fell short of confirming the exact date, saying only that the elections would likely be held at the end of November or the first week of December.

He said this is within the specified time allowed in the Constitution to hold general elections after Parliament is dissolved.

The elections follow the end of two years of Guadalcanal-Malaita ethnic conflict and last year's coup in Honiara.

The government has faced widespread international and local criticism for introducing a bill that would allow the legitimacy of the current Parliament to be extended if election arrangements are not completed according to the constitutional timeframe.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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