No polling for 5,000-plus voters in election

Over 5,000 eligible voters will not exercise their democratic rights to vote in the upcoming general election after three incumbent Members of Parliament were declared unopposed. 

Figures released by the Office of the Electoral Commission confirm that 5,253 eligible voters from three electoral constituencies will not be casting their votes during the 9 April General Election.

At the temporary closure of electoral rolls a total of 128, 848 voters were registered for the general election. 

The territorial constituencies of Lepa, Lotofaga and the newly formed Faleata No.3 are the three uncontested seats on polling day. 

The seats are occupied by long serving M.P. for Lepa and Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi and his former Deputy Prime Minister and veteran M.P. for Lotofaga, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa. 

Associate Minister for the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi is the third unopposed candidate for the newly defined Faleata No.3 seat.  

There are 3,131 active voters registered for the Faleata No.3 seat, plus 1,187 electorates in Lotofaga, and 935 voters in Lepa bringing the total to 5,253 of voters who will not be casting their ballots. 

The Prime Minister’s territorial constituency also holds the least number of registered voters.

During candidate nomination period that closed in October last year, Tuilaepa had two other registered opponents. His competitors were Tu’ula Kiliri Tuitui who registered under the Tautua Samoa Party and Faletagoai Tausaga. 

However, Tu’ula was disqualified from running due to his monotaga requirement after Faletagoai successfully appealed and overturned the decision of the Tautua Samoa Party candidate to contest the seat.   

The Prime Minister then had his seat secured shortly after when Faletagoai decided to withdraw his candidacy. 

Fiame and Lealailepule were amongst three candidates who were unopposed at the closure of the nomination period in October last year. 

The Minister of Education Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio is the third candidate who was announced as unopposed. 

However, a petition sought by his opponent Papalii Moala Tavita challenging his disqualification to run was reverted by the court making him the second candidate for the Sagaga No.1 seat.   

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