Street Talk: Should Samoans abroad vote in general elections?

By Anetone Sagaga 08 March 2024, 5:01PM

The members of the public had mixed reactions towards the idea of whether Samoans residing overseas should be entitled to vote in the upcoming election. Samoa Observer's photojournalist Anetone Sagaga spoke to the public and this is what they had to say.

Iona Mika, 68, Aleipata.

"I think they should allow our Samoans overseas to vote, they also play a huge part in our nation. Their opinions matter as well, as they are what the nation depends on sometimes when we need financial assistance in church, village and our community. They should be allowed to vote in the upcoming election."

Ioapo Faitele, 45, Fusi Saoluafata.

"I don't think it is a good idea for Samoans overseas to vote as they are now citizens of nations they currently reside in. I'm not saying they have no right, I just think it will make the Electoral Office's job easier and also it will maintain peace within our nation. It would make sense if the Samoans who visit every year vote, as for those who have become citizens abroad, I don't think they should vote."

Mauga Poe, 46, Leauva'a.

"Yes, our fellow Samoans overseas should vote. They have a say in our next election as they are also performing the "Tautua" for our people here. It is important to have their say as they have quite a lot of understanding on how things work, say for example Government overseas success is something Samoans here should seek and follow by. It is important to have their vote."

Folesi Apelu, 46, Satapuala.

"I agree with this proposal and I hope that the bill comes to fruition. I know some may disagree with me but I know that it will benefit Samoa and the future of this nation. It's not like they (Samoans abroad) have not contributed to building our nation, they also have a contribution, like remittances, sending money for our families back here when the cost of living becomes a bit unaffordable."

Telesia Seumanutafa, 38, Palisi.

"I disagree with this topic, it just doesn't sit right with me. They live abroad and the Samoans living here should decide on that question. It makes sense that way because we see and understand certain things here that they aren't fully aware of. I know they are also contributing their "tautua" but they have become a citizen overseas and are serving those countries now. I could be wrong but that is my answer I stand by. Social media plays a huge part and I know many fake pages stirring drama online are diasporas and it is not good."

Elena Papalii, 49, Palisi.

"Simply NO. I prefer to have the Samoans reside here to make that decision. Samoans overseas serve another government now and I know their opinion matters but I think those who stay within their nation and serve should decide on who sits in Parliament. Again they have all the right to vote but then they should live here in Samoa to be able to make that decision."

Letele Su'a, 31, Siusega.

"Of course, Samoans abroad should participate in the electoral poll for our nation. They have a say and I fully agree they should vote. I mean they send money, right? They help out and also provide for families back here at home. It is vital to have different perspectives, but I stand that they should also have a say because their "Tautua" is noticed."

Faualii Pokati,58,Fagalii.

"Samoans overseas have the right to vote and take part in the upcoming election. I believe that they (Samoans abroad) have a say in whoever represents their constituency. I am sure other countries have had that sort of overseas voting system and we (Samoan) should also apply the same process. I support the idea of having them vote."

By Anetone Sagaga 08 March 2024, 5:01PM
Samoa Observer

Upgrade to Premium

Subscribe to
Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy unlimited access to all our articles on any device + free trial to e-Edition. You can cancel anytime.