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By-election to cost $100,000, Election chief confirms

Samoan taxpayers will have to fork out an estimated $100,000 for the upcoming by-election for the constituency of Gagaifomauga No. 3. 

This was confirmed by the Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio. 

Faimalo also confirmed that 1445 voters have already registered for the by-election. There are 762 male and 683 females. 

The voters of Gagaifomauga No. 3 will head to the polls to elect their Member of Parliament on the 28th of August.

The by-election is the result of a decision by the Speaker of Parliament, Leaupepe Tole'afoa Fa'afisi, to declare the seat vacant after La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Schmidt had verbally resigned in Parliament.

Two candidates have already been nominated to contest the vacant seat and the last day for withdrawal of nomination is on 14 August 2020. 

The candidates are: Fa'aulusau Simi Laulua and Former Member of Parliament, La'aulialemalietoa Leuatea Schmidt. 

Former M.P. La’auli officially registered a new political party on last month and was accompanied by potential candidates flagging the party's banner in the 2021 General Election.  

The name of the party is Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) is the seventh party and was established by La’auli to fulfill the wish of his constituency to leave the Human Rights Protection Party and form another one. 

It was also his constituency’s wish not to tender his written resignation to the Speaker following a verbal resignation in June’s parliament session. 

Meanwhile, in a previous interview with the Samoa Observer, the Electoral Commissioner confirmed that there are initial discussions on the issue of free ferry rides for voters heading to poll in Gagaifomauga No. 3 in the last week of August. 

However, he pointed out “we are also mindful of the fact that the transportation of voters is an offense under the Electoral Act 2019”. 

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