Solomons Islands elections set for November 19

 The Solomon Islands announced Wednesday that a general election will be held on November 19, in the first vote since the completion of a major peacekeeping operation to end ethnic violence in the Pacific nation.

Honiara: The Solomon Islands announced Wednesday that a general election will be held on November 19, in the first vote since the completion of a major peacekeeping operation to end ethnic violence in the Pacific nation.

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said in a brief statement that Governor General Frank Kabui had signed a proclamation for the election to take place next month.

Lilo, who has been in power since November 2011, added that almost 290,000 people in the population of about 600,000 had registered to vote.

He said a new voter registration process had removed 160,000 "fraudulent, incorrect or duplicate" registrations from the rolls.

"The new clean voter list is expected to contribute to the running of a fair and credible election," he said.

Just over a decade ago, the Solomons government was at the mercy of warlords, ethnic militants and a corrupt police force, with virtually no control outside the capital Honiara.

An Australian-led peacekeeping force -- the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) -- set out to restore law and order in 2003.

While there were isolated outbreaks of unrest, most notably rioting after elections in 2006, the situation had stabilised enough for RAMSI to end its military operation last year and change its focus to policing and governance.

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