Justice confirms no election petition

No petition has been filed in relation to the outcome of the by-election at Fa’asaleleaga No. 2 constituency.

Which means Namulau’ulu Sami Leota of the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) will soon be welcomed to Parliament as the constituency’s M.P.

“To date, we have not received any petition as a result of the by-election,” the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration Acting C.E.O., Ronnie Fereti, said.

“Therefore Namulau’ulu is the uncontested winner, and the time to file any petition is now closed.”

In last month's by-election, four candidates vied for the seat that was left vacant by the late Member of Parliament, Pa’u Sefo Pa’u.

According to official results, Namulau’ulu won by 1,208 votes with independent candidate Maileimalo Eneliko Pa’u coming second with 685, followed by Papali’i Li’o Masepau (H.R.P.P.) with 564 votes and Lema’i Faioso Sione (Samoa First Political Party) with 14 votes.

Under the Electoral Law, there is a certain period of time any candidate can challenge the winner by filing a petition in court and that time frame ended last week Friday, 5 April, 2019.

“We have not received anything here at Court,” said the Acting C.E.O. when contacted by the Samoa Observer.

When contacted for a comment last week, Electoral Commissioner Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio referred questions to the M.J.C.A.

The Commissioner explained the petitions are filed with the M.J.C.A. and not the Officer of the Electoral Commissioner.

There were 3,487 registered voters for the district in question and the number of voters who turned up at the polling booths was 2,471.

As reported earlier, Fa'asaleleaga No. 2 constituency became the first constituency to implement the new amendment to the electoral laws, requiring voters to return to their constituencies to cast their votes.

“The new laws was made to counter the concerns raised by members of the public, mainly in Savai’i and the rural areas the results counted at the booths does not match the results counted during the official counting,” Faimalo said.

“This was from the Electoral Commission of Inquiry held in Savaii. We saw a number of people coming to Savaii to cast their votes."

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