30 July 2010Officials from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will this weekend begin training and briefing more than 60 international observers who have arrived in the Solomon Islands to monitor parliamentary elections being staged next week. Officials from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will this weekend begin training and briefing more than 60 international observers who have arrived in the Solomon Islands to monitor parliamentary elections being staged next week.A team from UNDP and other development partners will give deployment plans, pre- and post-election briefings, and administrative, logistical and operational support to the observers, according to a statement issued by the agency yesterday in Honiara, the national capital.The observers, working in pairs, are expected to monitor conduct at more than 180 of the nearly 900 polling stations being set up across the Pacific archipelago for next Wednesday’s ballot.UNDP has been coordinating the election observer programme after a request from the Solomon Islands Government and electoral authorities in the country.In its statement the agency stressed the importance of free and fair elections, saying such polls are the “basis for healthy democracy, and vital to ensure political stability and a climate fostering sustainable human development.”Solomon Islands, which has been independent since 1978, has a 50-member national parliament whose members are elected to four-year terms. The last polls were held in 2006.
The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will not give nominations to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming general election, UPFA Parliamentarian and cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said.Senaratne said this at the weekly post cabinet press briefing held at the Government Information Department today. “A six-member committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party discussed this matter with President Maithripala Sirisena last evening. President Maithripala Sirisena will never field Rajapaksa as the prime ministerial candidate. There will be no chance for him to enter parliament through the National List as well,” the Minister added. The committee was appointed during a meeting held this week to discuss the prevailing political situation in the country and the future political course of the SLFP. (Colombo Gazette) A committee comprising of six members of the SLFP was appointed to coordinate between President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa with regards to the future affairs of the UPFA.