Elections and corrupt practices
Four months prior to the General Elections of 9 April 2021, our HRPP Cabinet put on hold all constructions projects to avoid being labelled that the HRPP Government was using Government funded projects to influence electors to vote for HRPP candidates.
Some of our own HRPP candidates affected were extremely critical for suspending on-going projects approved for their districts till after the General Elections.
Projects may be funded by donor Agencies/Countries or by Government from the budget. These are all programmed after considerable time of assessment, their priority established by Cabinet and the selection of contractors through the Tender System.
Since HRPP won all the General Elections from 1982, inclusive of the 2021 General Elections (which we also won before the Court reversed the Electoral outcomes), we amended our Electoral Laws numerous times to minimize corrupt practices; Eg, the requirements for compulsory computer usage of ID’s, finger prints and inks to avoid multiple voting at different booths, and/or voting under the names of voters who are dead; introduction of universal suffrage with one man one vote system; the revision of boundaries during the 2011 -2016 Parliamentary Term for the first time since 1962 to take account of the differences in the electors numbers per district; introduction of the minimum 10% formula to promote the empowerment of women in Parliament; termination of the shameful practice of creating “Cheap Matai Titles” for Election purposes; promotion of honesty and discouragement of corrupt practices of Party hopping through the automatic vacating of Parliamentary Seats, and for the culprits to go back and seek fresh mandates from their electors to support their new Party affiliations; the tighter control over cultural practices that promote ugly daylight bribery of voters, and much more.
Past Court decisions have already declared illegal even a gift of $10.00 by a candidate under any pretext and now as from the last General Elections, Road Shows a foreign practice with thousands of dollars given out as lafos etc, are seen as accepted Cultural practice! Even our past amendments are accused as HRPP attempts to ensure HRPP victory at any General Elections!
These are facts of our political history, we must keep repeating as often as possible for the education of our youths of today and tomorrow. Samoa has invested greatly on education to produce dedicated and honest leaders with principles for our beautiful Samoa.
It is the reason, HRPP will continue to invoke the Court rulings on any controversial issue again and again and again until the Rule of Law prevails and the voters voted of their own free will.
Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi
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