Honiara, Solomon Islands – On Election Day 62 international election observers will be deployed in polling stations in more than half the constituencies in the Solomon Islands. These are the National Parliamentary Elections to be held on 4 August 2010. The aim is to ensure that polling is conducted in a fair and transparent way.

The observers will be deployed in teams of two, and the 31 teams will cover approximately 180 out of the 876 polling stations depending on weather conditions and other logistical challenges.

Each team will try to cover six polling stations. The 29 constituencies in which these 180 polling stations are located are in seven provinces: Guadalcanal, Malaita, Western Province, Central Province, Makira, Isabel and Choiseul. The teams will also cover the capital, Honiara, which is a separate administrative region with three constituencies.

The United Nations has established an Electoral Observation Coordination Team (EOCT), to support the efforts of the international election observers. The UN team will provide the observers with pre- and post-election briefings, deployment plans and other administrative, logistical and operational support. The EOCT was established upon request from the Government of Solomon Islands.

The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission has requested international observers for the National Parliamentary Elections, and the following countries and organizations have responded by sending observer delegations: USA (20), Japan (6), Australia (10), New Zealand (9), Commonwealth (11), Pacific Forum (5) and EU (1). All observation teams will receive training and briefing by EOCT this weekend, and should be deployed by Monday next week.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has formulated the EOCT project, and is responsible for implementing it. Several development partners are supporting the project financially.

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