On 3 April this year, the people of Solomon Islands will go to the polls to elect their representatives in the national parliament for the next four years. The term ‘representatives’ is used loosely here as the typical member of parliament (MP) is elected with just over a third of the votes, meaning the majority of the electors did not in fact choose the winning candidate to represent them. This will be the tenth election since 1978 when the country gained full independence from the United Kingdom.
As is always the case at a national general election, there is a heightened sense of excitement and expectation from observers, the general public and donors. A number of prominent civil servants have resigned to contest this year’s election.