Savai'i remains peaceful in election week

Savai'i remains peaceful despite the traffic jam, the crowded ferry rides to the big island and overbooked hotels as thousands of residents return to cast their votes on Friday. 

So says Police Deputy Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo in an interview with the Samoa Observer newspaper. 

Since the first day of pre-polling which concluded on Thursday evening, there has been no cases or complaints filed with the different police posts around Savai'i, according to Auapaau. 

"We have never received a complaint or were told of any issues happening around the different polling booths in Savai'i since pre-polling started," he said. 

"Even with the preparations leading up to the big day tomorrow (Friday), everything has been running smoothly and peacefully.

"I mean it was just unfortunate that a life was claimed after that unfortunate incident on Thursday that claimed a life of a young man here in Savai'i.

"But other than that, things have been really calm and relaxed here in Savai'i. 

"Overall, it has been great the past few days and we hope it will be the same tomorrow as thousands of voters across the island line up to cast their votes." 

Auapaau then credited the strong support and leadership of the village councils in the different communities scattered across the island.

"It's all thanks to the support and guidance of the different villages for their leadership and guidance that helped with peace-keeping all throughout the island. 

"We've never had any issues as people, especially the candidates and their supporters are not interfering with the voters or just hanging outside or near the polling booths. 

"They are following the process and we have not received any issue since we started pre-polling here in Savai'i. 

"We are grateful for that as it makes our work easier and also helps the electoral officials with the process."

He also revealed that a total of 150 police officers from Apia arrived in Savai'i on Thursday to assist with running the election on Friday. Twenty police officers had travelled to the island earlier in the week to assist the Savai'i team.

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