On 3 April 2019, Solomon Islands held the first national general election since the departure of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) in June 2017. The polling, organized by Solomon Islands Electoral Office (SIEO), was smooth with no serious disruptions, and the results for all 50 constituencies were announced by 7 April.
The 11th Solomon Islands Parliament has 50 members and incumbent MPs had a high rate of re-election: out of 49 incumbent MPs seeking re-elections, 36 were successful including, two female MPs. Only 22 candidates received an absolute majority (more than 50%) in their constituency. The voter turn-out was approximately 86% of registered voters. A total of eight political parties secured seats in Parliament, with the highest number being elected under the KADARE party (8 MPs) and the Solomon Islands Democratic Party (8 MPs).
The Strengthening the Electoral Cycle in the Solomon Islands Project’s (SECSIP) support was instrumental to strengthen the operational and human resources capacities of the Electoral Office (EO) to manage the election efficiently. The project’s technical advice in the areas of electoral operations, legal and IT, as well as the engagement of seven national graduates in different capacities, significantly contributed to strengthen the capacities of the EO. Voter education and knowledge about voter registration, elections, democracy and the role of MPs were improved through face to face awareness activities. The project also supported the development of communication materials which included booklets distributed through SolRice networks, TV programs during FIFA World Cup, radio drama, talk-back show, video and animations, hotline, SMS blast, social media, etc.
Women´s political participation and leadership was also supported through an array of actions such as the women candidate schools and women resource centres, as well as others to provide an avenue for reflection and discussion on the importance of women´s political leadership such as poster and essay competition, women support network, etc.