Election writ issued

By Sapeer Mayron 09 March 2021, 9:00PM

The Head of State, His Highness Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II has officially ordered the General Election, issuing the final notice for election day on Friday 9 April.

In the notice, issued exactly a month out from Election Day, the last day for withdrawing candidates’ nominations is set for Friday 26 March, a week before pre-polling begins.

Pre-polling, or early voting for eligible citizens, runs from Monday 5 April to Thursday 08 April before the big day on Friday.

There are then three weeks after Election Day for the Writ to be returned, bringing the 2021 General Election to a close. 

In those three weeks, the votes are counted and certified by the Electoral Commissioner. The results are declared as soon as the ballot papers have been counted.

When the Head of State receives the results, he signs a warrant to declare the successful candidates of the election.

A writ for election is typically issued at the end of Parliament’s full term, which in this case wrapped up on Wednesday 2 March, five weeks after the last session began in January.

The Head of State holds the role of giving official notice of the election according to the Constitution of Samoa.

This year, 200 people were nominated to contest the election, but after court petitions and some withdrawals, there are 197 contestants.

There are 113 candidates from the Human Rights Protection Party, 53 candidates from Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi, 14 candidates from Tautua Samoa Party five candidates from Samoa First Party, one candidate from the Sovereign Independent Samoa Party and 12 Independent candidates.

Out of those 198 people, 51 will be elected to represent the 51 constituencies of Samoa.

According to the Office of the Electoral Commissioner, there are just shy of 130,000 people registered to vote.

The roll is officially closed, and unregistered citizens may not vote until the next election, provided they register in time. 

This year’s election is the 17th General Election since gaining independence in 1962.

Caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi is running for his Lepa seat uncontested, and will likely represent the constituency for the tenth time after he first entered Parliament in 1981.

If he returns as Prime Minister it will be for the sixth term in a row after his first term as the P.M. in 1998.

By Sapeer Mayron 09 March 2021, 9:00PM
Samoa Observer

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