Voter fined for false declaration
A voter has been convicted and fined $200 tala for making a false declaration during the Fa'asaleleaga No. 2 by-election in March this year.
Baby Losivale Vui, 26, was sentenced in the Tuasivi District Court last Thursday.
He had pleaded guilty to one count of false declaration.
The lawyer for the Office of the Electoral Commissioner (O.E.C.), To'oto'otumua Glory Fuimaono, prosecuted the matter.
According to the summary of facts, Vui from Puapua and Gautavai, attended a registration service programme run by the O.E.C. in Salelologa on February 20 this year.
He applied for a new voter’s registration. The defendant was asked prior to submitting the form for his new registration, if he had registered before, to which he said no.
Vui applied to register in Sapapali’i village under the residence qualification. After completing the form, electoral officials explained the voter statutory declaration form to him, to which he had no questions. He then signed the statutory declaration.
Vui’s residence was further confirmed by the sui o nu’u or village representative of Sapapali’I and consequently approved.
In the process of taking his fingerprints and photograph, the defendant’s fingerprint appeared on the e-roll system which showed that he had already registered in Pu’apu’a village.
The system showed that the defendant had previously registered in the constituency of Fa’asaleleaga No. 4.
He was then shown his voter’s identification on the system but denied and questioned the personal details.
As a result of this confrontation, the village representative changed his position, when he was informed that the defendant had already registered.
To this effect the village representative signed a letter dated February 21, 2019 to cancel his earlier confirmation that the defendant resides in Sapapali’i.
On March 16, the defendant was cautioned and interviewed by a police officer and stated that he resided in Gautavai at his wife’s family.
Puefua Sale II Sale, who is the village representative for Sapapali’i, is also being charged separately for attesting to false information to verify residential status of the voter.
He was represented by lawyer Matafeo George Latu in the District Court on Tuesday.
Puefua appeared before the Tuasivi District Court last week but was transferred to the main Courts in Mulinu’u.
It was presided by District Court Judge, Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma.
O.E.C. lawyer, Tootootumua sought an adjournment to respond to an application from defense to vacate the defendant’s guilty plea.
Judge Fepulea'i granted the request and adjourned the matter for two weeks.