Court rejects disqualified candidate's judicial review

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 25 November 2021, 4:25PM

A judicial review application filed by a disqualified by-election candidate has been dismissed by the Supreme Court this afternoon, hours after the matter was called for hearing this morning. 

Tuitogamanaia Dr. Peniamina Leavai, who had his candidacy void on Monday this week, had asked the Supreme Court to stay the execution of the decision that disqualified him. 

In addition the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) candidate asked for the postponement of the Falealupo constituency until his judicial review matter is determined. 

Tuitoga argued that the decision by the “Electoral Court” infringed his rights to a fair trial, breached his freedom of religion and was discriminatory. 

But Supreme Court Justice, Tologata Leilani Tuala-Warren and Justice Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma dismissed the application and ruled that the Court is upholding its decision on Tuitoga. 

The Justices ruled that it failed to see how the decision of the "Electoral Court" breached the Tuitoga's rights to a fair trial and breached his freedom of religion.

 The decision by the Court brings to an end the attempt by Tuitoga to contest for Falealupo seat, which was previously held by his father, Aeau Penimina Leavaise’eta. 

The Office of Electoral Commission, in a notice this week, declared Fuiono Tenina Crichton unopposed and as the Member of Parliament for the Falealupo constituency. 

Fuiono registered under the Fa’atuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) and successfully disqualified Tuitoga in a pre-election petition which was heard and ruled in his favour on Monday.  

• This is a developing story.

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 25 November 2021, 4:25PM
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