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Samoa’s Speaker of Parliament, Tole'afoa Leaupepe Fa'afisi, has issued a warrant of writ for a by-election for the vacant Fa’asaleleaga Nu.2 seat.
This was due to the passing of Member of Parliament, Pa’u Sefo Pa’u last month.
The by-election has been schedule for March 22, 2019, according to the Electoral Commissioner, Faimalo Matthew Lemisio.
Explaining the process for the by-election which was initiated on Tuesday by the Speaker, he said the nomination period will commence February 25, 2019 and close March 1, 2019.
Faimalo said in accordance with Section 151 of the Electoral Act 2019, upon the issuance of the warrant, his office issued a public notice yesterday to notify the Constituency of Fa’asaleleaga 2 of the date when their electoral rolls have to be temporarily closed for the upcoming by-election.
“This by election will be administered under the new Electoral Act 2019, which was passed by Parliament recently and assented to by the Head of State on the 31 January, 2019.
“The new requirements implemented will include the qualifications of voters. Mainly residency and matai from the constituency and the matai connection requirement no longer exists.
“So only those residing in villages of the constituency and matai from that constituency will be the new registered voters to be entered on the rolls or those transferring on the roll of Fa’asaleleaga Nu. 2,” he added.
Furthermore, all the registered voters will be required to vote with Faimalo warning that failing to do so will result in an instant fine of $100 (US$38).
“All voters are required to cast their vote at the constituency, meaning there will be no more special booths outside of Fa’asaleleaga Nu.2.
“Except for those qualified under pre-polling. Those qualified under pre-polling are those over 65 years old, people living with disabilities, and those travelling overseas on the day of elections.
“But they must apply to the OEC (Office of the Electoral Commissioner) before they are considered to cast their vote during the pre-polling period, which is four days before the actual polling day,” he said.
The Commissioner further explained their office will be conducting all the processes of the by-election in Savai’i.
“Starting from closure of rolls, to nomination, the by-election itself, the preliminary count and the final count,” he added.
SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS
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