8 February 2016
Australia supports democracy in Solomon Islands
Australia is helping to strengthen democratic processes in Solomon Islands with workshops for political parties in Honiara this week and next.
The Australian Electoral Commission is delivering two Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) workshops in partnership with the Solomon Islands Political Parties Commission and Electoral Commission.
The workshops will help the participants from registered political parties in the Solomon Islands to develop greater understanding of the electoral process and the vital role that political parties play.
"A healthy, robust democracy makes for a vital and prosperous people and a strong and united nation," said Australian High Commissioner Rod Brazier at the opening of the workshop on 8 February.
"Australia is pleased to be contributing experts from the Australian Electoral Commission to this opportunity for political parties to learn more about elections, to help them run better campaigns and to engage with their communities and constituents more effectively," the High Commissioner said.
Sir Paul Tovua, Chairman of the Political Parties Commission, reminded participants that representing their people in Parliament was a privilege and an honour.
"These workshops form part of a larger training program offered to political parties by the Political Parties Commission, and it’s particularly relevant following the passage of the Political Parties Integrity Act in 2014 and in the lead up to the next national elections in 2018-2019", the Chair said.
Participants in the workshop will explore topics such as electoral principles, candidate selection and nomination, platform development, campaigning and working with stakeholders. The workshop will be very interactive and a large variety of activities will be undertaken to tap into the knowledge of the participants and the facilitators. The workshops are jointly delivered by the Australian Electoral Commission and the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission.
BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections) is a modular professional development program designed for electoral management bodies and other electoral stakeholders (see www.bridge-project.org). The Australian Electoral Commission was a founding partner in BRIDGE and currently supports the BRIDGE office in Canberra, Australia. BRIDGE courses have been run in over 100 countries around the world training over 15,000 participants.