Australian Funding boosts Electoral Center to oversee coordination, monitoring and supporting of various election-related activities.
The Strengthening Electoral Cycle in Solomon Islands Project (SECSIP), a collaborative effort funded by the Australian government, UNDP, and the European Union, officially transferred the Solomon Islands Electoral Operation Centre (EOC) to the Electoral Office on Monday, 11 September 11. The EOC, a central component of the country’s electoral management infrastructure, plays a crucial role in coordinating, overseeing, monitoring, and supporting various election-related activities.
Fred Bosoboe, Chief Operations Manager, emphasized the importance of the new office space for the operations team, which plays a pivotal role in the Electoral Office’s functions. Bosoboe highlighted that the EOC is the primary point of contact for registration officers and registration managers across the provinces, ensuring efficient communication and coordination. “At the moment, it’s on a daily basis when they get a good signal,” Bosoboe explained. This cycle, the Electoral Office is implementing the biometric voter registration process in all 50 constituencies.
Jasper Anisi, Chief Electoral Officer, expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Australian Government for their unwavering support towards the Electoral Office. Anisi emphasised the critical significance of the Operation Centre in maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the electoral process. He explained that the Operations Team will actively support the electoral commission’s functions by managing, coordinating, and facilitating logistics and other essential processes to ensure a free and fair election.
The “Strengthening the Electoral Cycle Solomon Islands Project,” commonly known as SECSIP, has been operational for the past decade. SECSIP has worked closely with the Electoral Office to enhance the electoral process in the country. The project primarily relies on funding from the Australian Government to support its collaborative efforts with the Electoral Office. Patrick Pee, Acting Deputy Representative and UNDP Chief of Operations, revealed that for this specific SECSIP cycle, spanning from 2021 to 2024, Australia has provided $3.8 million USD, roughly $1 million USD per year, totaling approximately 8 million SBD per year.
Australian High Commissioner, Rod Hilton, reiterated Australia’s enduring partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and emphasized that this collaboration enables Australia to provide vital support for the upcoming 2024 National General Election. Additionally, Australia, through the Solomon Islands International Alliance Force, has committed to maintaining peace and order during the upcoming election period. This proactive measure aims to ensure a safe and secure environment for the electoral process.
Solomon Islands is anticipated to head to the polls before April next year.