Lack of vote options irks students

A group of young Samoans studying in Australia have spoken of their disappointment at not being able to vote and want to see change in the country’s leadership.

In interviews with Radio Australia last Thursday, Monash University students 19-year-old Francine Elisaia, 21-year-old Romario Pose and Stacey Leisam welcomed the entry of the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party and said they would have wanted to vote in the general election last Friday.

“I know for most of Samoa’s history HRPP has been the leading political party, I think it is good that there’s another rising party to contest the already existing party that has a lot of support already,” said Ms Elisaia.

While Mr Pose was of the view that the officials in Samoa should have organised online voting, especially for international students with Samoan background. 

“I think they (Samoa) should really upgrade and transition to being on line as well but I think it is something they should look into developing as there are a lot of international students, especially as they should have looked into it more knowing that due to Covid a lot of international students are stuck overseas.”

Mr Pose said he would have voted for the F.A.S.T. if he was given the opportunity.

As for Ms Leisam, she was of the view that a lot of Samoans living abroad would have wanted to vote as they want to be part of the decision-making process back home. 

“I mean there are a lot of citizens of Samoa and they live overseas as well that would definitely want to actually vote and be a part of the elections because obviously that is our home country and we are obviously citizens and we want to be a part of that decision.”

She said it was time for younger Samoans to be be given the opportunity to make the “big decisions” concerning the development of Samoa.

“The way they (older Samoan generation) see things is very different from younger peoples perspectives and views on different matters, they are a lot more traditional, I would say,” she said. 

“We are the younger generation and it is going to be us making the big decisions eventually when we grow up in the development of Samoa.”

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