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Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) candidates currently lead in 31 of Samoa's 48 constituency seats over new party Faatuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi Party (FAST)after the first day of pre-polling in the 2021 General Election.
More than 2,000 cast their vote on Monday the first day of pre-polling.
Figures from the Office of the Electoral Commissioner (OEC) say the 8,000 voters make up the 128,822 voters registered to vote in the 2021 general elections.432 polling booths have been allocated around the country for the general election.
It is a short working week in Samoa with the Easter Monday holiday and Thursday and Friday as public holidays to ensure voters do cast their votes.
Voting is compulsory and a penalty applies if a voter fails to cast their vote.
The general election provisional results are expected on Friday evening.
The race for power is between the main parties HRPP and FAST with the smaller parties Tautua Samoa, Samoa First, SIS and several independents who hope to be the decider if the final numbers are too close.
The publication of first results has raised questions among commentators as it might influence the remaining voters.
The Electoral Commissioner Faimalomatumua said they had decided not to 'sleep on the results' and would continue to count and announce the results each day.
189 candidates, including 21 women, are contesting the 50 seats for a five-year term in the legislative assembly.
The ruling Human Rights Protect party has 105 candidates, FAST or Faatuatua i le Atua Samoa party has 52, Tautua Samoa party 14, Samoa First five, the Sovereign Independent Samoa party one, and 12 candidates are independents.
Originally more than 200 candidates were registered but several were forced to withdraw after the court found they failed to meet the eligibility requirements under the Electoral Act. Only188 candidates are now contesting the election.
Campaigning ended on Saturday at midnight.
From Wednesday, a ban on the sale of alcohol will start and last until the morning after the election.
SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/TALAMU ONLINE/RNZ PACIFIC/ PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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