Election death on artificial island of Sulufou in Solomon Islands

HONIARA, 11 APRIL 2019 (SOLOMON STAR)—Solomon Islands Police are now on the artificial island of Sulufou in the Baegu/Asifola Constituency to investigate the first election-related violence and death of one person.

The death, which occurred on Monday afternoon, followed days of confrontation between supporters of two losing candidates on the islands.

A male supporter of one of the losing candidates lost his life at sea while trying to swim from Sulufou to the nearby artificial island of Oema.

Information the Solomon Star obtained from sources on the ground said the deceased and fellow supporters were on their way to confront their rivals who were staying on Oema island at that time.

“Some travelled in canoes while others, including the deceased, decided to swim across that short distance,” one informant said.

“When those who travelled by canoes reached Oema, they realised one of their supporters who swam the distance did not show up,” he added.

It’s believed the deceased drowned on the way.

According to our informant, this was the first election related death to have happened in Baegu/Asifola constituency.

The candidate whose supporters were based on Oema island was reportedly chased away and is taking refuge in the nearby community of Fouia.

Police have called for calm as they investigate the incident.

Six candidates contested the Baegu/Asifola constituency in the April 3 polls.

Makario Tagini won the seat

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