Solomons Provincial Candidates Urge PM To Sack Minister

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Western’s Silas Tausinga deferred elections day before polls

By Denver Newter

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Sept. 27, 2013) – Some candidates contesting the Western Provincial elections in the Solomon Islands are calling on the prime minister to sack the Minister for Provincial Government Silas Tausinga.

The call came in light of the rescheduling of the provincial elections from Thursday to Monday next week.

"This is the first time in the political history of Solomon Islands for an election to be cancelled a day before voters go to the polls," a candidate from Munda told the Solomon Star on Wednesday.

"And this shows the incompetency of the minister responsible," he added.

The decision was due primarily to lack of funds to meet logistics needed for the elections in Western, Choiseul, and a by-election in ward 4 of Temotu Province.

"We are calling on the prime minister to sack Minister Tausinga for his incompetency," the candidate, who asked not to be named, said.

"Election is an important process that the government must prioritise.

"The ministry under the leadership of Mr. Tausinga has failed miserably to prioritise this election.

"They are highly incompetent to prepare and organise the provincial elections. The minister should be ashamed of himself.

"He shouldn’t be a leader at all," the candidate said.

Another candidate who called from Gizo said the decision to postpone the election was a huge blow to those of them contesting the elections.

"Look, we’ve set our campaign budgets which should last us until tomorrow, which is the polling day," the Gizo candidate, who also asked not to be named, said.

"Now that the elections have been moved to Monday, out budgets, strategies, and plans are all in disarray.

"This is a disgrace on the part of the national government.

"It shows they are unprepared, unorganised, and simply incompetent.

"Yet they can find money to send large delegations to overseas while an important process such as this election is neglected.

"This is poor leadership at its best."

A teacher who called from Noro yesterday said the decision to postpone the election will affect teachers, students, and possibly the election process itself.

"Most of the polling stations are set up at the various schools in the province," the teacher said.

"But these schools will resume Monday.

"The election was scheduled for this week to fall in line with the one-week school break, as well as to allow school premises to be used as polling stations.

"Our schools will resume classes on Monday so I don’t know where the polling stations will be relocated to.

"Besides, we teachers will be back to school then, so we are not taking part in this important election.

"I think if the government doesn’t have the funds to conduct the elections now, they should just postpone it to December during the school holidays," he said.

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