Police Ministry meet with O.E.C. to discuss polls

Senior officials from the Ministry of Police Prisons and Correction Services met with the Office of the Electoral Commission on Tuesday to discuss plans for the 21 May fresh election.

Deputy Police Commissioner Papali’i Monalisa Tiai-Keti confirmed the meeting with the O.E.C. officials in a telephone interview with the Samoa Observer on Wednesday.

She said they met with the office to discuss preparations for next Friday’s election but have deferred it to next Monday to give time to the O.E.C. to finalise its plans.

"The meeting yesterday (Tuesday) is for us to work together with the O.E.C office in looking after and to be aware of the situation that will take place next week,” Papalii told this newspaper.

"Their plan hasn't been put into place for next week so far the meeting was ended and scheduled to be held next week Monday, hoping the O.E.C Office will table its final plan in order for the Ministry to follow it up and see where we are headed for the election next week.”

Papalii added that while the O.E.C. is yet to finalise its plan for the election, the Ministry will await details of specific tasks which will guide their work for the duration of polling.

"We are not sure of their plans so by next week Monday in hoping they will give out the actual plan, in terms of the total numbers of polling booths that are put into place so we can have our deployment into place.”

The critical dates that Papalii highlighted for next week’s fresh election is pre-polling on Wednesday; electoral officials travel to designated constituencies on Thursday; and the one-day election on Friday. 

The Electoral Commissioner Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio has been contacted for comment but did not reply to questions sent through email on Wednesday.

The Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II revoked last month’s general election and declared the conducting of a fresh election on 21 May in a special announcement last Tuesday.

However, last Tuesday’s special announcement by the Head of State is now the subject of a Supreme Court proceeding initiated by the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party. The party has submitted that the declaration is unlawful and constitutional and will be heard by the court later this week.

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