Election chief says campaign period starts in October

The Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio, has confirmed that candidates contesting in the 2021 General Election are only allowed to carry out campaigns in late October. 

In response to queries from the Samoa Observer, Faimalo said their office has not received any complaints about candidate campaigning to date. But he said they have received inquiries from potential candidates asking whether they can start campaigning now.

“The campaign period by the way opens on the 24 October 2020 and closes on the 4 April 2021,” he said. 

“That is more than enough time for candidates to promote themselves. Remember giving monies and food, even transporting voters is campaigning…that’s bribery and treating.” 

Its nine months away from the official polling day in April 2021 and already there are more than forty new candidates that have declared allegiance with the Human Rights Protection Party. 

As for the five other political parties not including H.R.P.P., they are keeping their cards to themselves until near nomination period in October. 

Faimalo also stressed that the Office of the Electoral Commissioner is not the only party responsible with election credibility and its success. 

He said if voters, candidates and even the media has solid evidence of candidates campaigning before 24 October, they have the obligation to report it to the O.E.C. office or to Police. 

“When you have solid evidence of any candidates campaigning, please inform the police or even call our office with those evidence,” he said.

The campaign period closes on the 4 April while the official polling date is scheduled on 9 April. 

“That is more than enough time for candidates to promote themselves…” 

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