An election candidate has called on the government “to seriously consider allowing Samoans living overseas to vote from wherever they are.”
The call comes from Gagaemauga No. 2 candidate, Semau Fa’amau Levi, as the General Elections countdown continues. She said Samoans living overseas contribute a lot to the economy of Samoa through remittances.
“Our government should be mindful of our people living overseas,” she said.
“They have the rights to vote for the election and we should make it easy for them to vote.”
Semau believes that asking our people living overseas to fly all the way to Samoa to register and vote is a “little too much” since they are also “sending home a lot of money.”
In New Zealand for example, she suggested that the government should establish at least three centers where Samoans living there can vote.
“One in Auckland, one in Wellington and one in Christchurch,” she said. “We can do this through our Embassies in New Zealand, Australia and America. Because they also want to contribute to the decision making of our country.”
Semau believes that with every problem, there is always a solution.
She said that “allowing Samoans residing in overseas countries to vote from where they are” is an important part of moving forward.
Other than that, she believes the government is doing a great job with the developments of our country.
“They’ve done more good things than bad things,” she said about the H.R.P.P Party.
The 54-year-old praised the changes to the Electoral Act 1963, making it compulsory for election candidates to provide tautua to their respective villages.
“I take my hat off to the government for adding this to the list of requirements for all the candidates,” she said. “All the candidates have different reasons of why they are running, but we all need to make sure we contribute to the village through our monotaga and matafale. “Because a lot of them [candidates] only contribute and give money when they declare they are running and when the Election Day is near. But they will disappear as soon as the election finishes. And this makes me so sad.”
She said such behavior is an “insult to the voters.”
“To me, this is sad. Because this shows that they don’t really care about the people they are representing. They only care about getting status for themselves.”
“Becoming a Member of Parliament means that you will get paid with a lot of money. So instead of finding a job somewhere else and starting up a business, they decide to run for the election.”
“And that is why I believe that you do not need to have a lot of degrees and qualifications to be a Member of Parliament. To me, I think the most important qualification you need to be a member of Parliament is your heart.
“What’s the use of having all the qualifications and all the degrees if you don’t really love the people of the constituency?”
Village service requirement is a must for all the candidates, she said.
Secondly, she also praised the state of roads in Samoa.
“This is why I am running as a H.R.P.P candidate,” she said. “They’ve done a marvelous job with the developing of Samoa.”
Semau rejects the claim by the Tautua Party that the reconstruction of roads are all part of their election campaign.
“I don’t agree with what they [Tautua] are saying,” she said. “The government and the people who are in charge of the roads have been working days and nights trying to fix the roads, and we should all give them some credit.”
Lastly, Semau said the road switch was one of the best decisions made by the government.
“Now it’s very cheap for our people to buy cars and every family in my village has their own car.”