Honiara, Solomon Islands
Nearly 100,000 voters will go to the polls today (Aug. 6) in the first election in the South Pacific Solomon Islands since independence from Britain in 1978. Some 240 candidates will contest 38 constituencies in the scattered islands, with 20 seats required to give any party a majority in the national parliament.
The three main groupings contesting the election are Prime Minister Peter Kenilorea's United Party, the National Democratic Party, and the People's Alliance Party. Because of transport and communications difficulties with the more remote islands, whose total population is 200,000, final results will not be known for several days.