Parliamentary Chamber: National Parliament


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  National Parliament

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  5 December 2001

Purpose of elections:

  For the first time since Parliament was dissolved following a coup-d'état in June 2000, elections were held for all seats in Parliament. General elections had previously been held in August 1997.

Background and outcome of elections:

  About 300,000 voters went to the polls on 5 December 2001 in one of the South Pacific's most troubled nations. The country had suffered from an ethnic war between the people of two islands, and despite a peace agreement signed in Townsville in October 2000 between different warring militias, it was still undergoing bouts of violence. One woman was shot dead the weekend before the elections, outside the house of some of the Australian-led international peace monitors in rural Guadalcanal.

The government had appealed to Australia and New Zealand for help in policing because of a deteriorating law-and-order situation in the run-up to the elections. The Solomon Islands police service was compromised by the fact that police who had assisted ethnic militants in a coup in June 2000 were still armed, as were many of the militants.

This election came as the country faced financial crisis, an economy in freefall and continuing law and order problems. The ethnic war had crippled the economy.

Registrations for the elections occurred in July and August 2001. Electoral officials reported a considerable increase in registrations with some 288,000 people or about 70 percent of the population eligible to vote, up from less than 210,000 for the 1997 election. The recent conflict and an extensive education campaign are thought to have increased interest in voting.

Under the eye of observers from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United States, the Commonwealth and the Pacific Islands Forum, the elections saw 328 candidates seeking 50 seats in a first-past-the-post parliamentary system. At least seven parties contested the elections.

The People's Alliance Party won 20 seats in the new Parliament, while the Association of Independent Members took 13 seats, former Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu's Solomon Islands Alliance for Change coalition 12, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare's People's Progressive Party 3, and the Labour Party 1.

International observers declared that the elections had been fair, despite reports that some voters were intimidated by armed militants.

On 17 December 2001, Sir Allan Kemakeza was elected Prime Minister. He had been being sacked from the previous government over a funding scandal.

Round no 1 (5 December 2001): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 287 921
Voters 178 161 (62 %)

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
People's Alliance Party (PAP) 20
Solomon Islands Alliance for Change Coalition (SIACC) 12
People's Progress Party (PPP) 3
Labour Party 1
Independents 13
Others 1

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 50
Women: 0
Percent of women: 0

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Copyright © 2001 Inter-Parliamentary Union