28 election petitions filed in the Samoa Supreme Court

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A total of 28 election petitions have been filed in the Samoa Supreme Court following last month’s general elections.

The petitions are registered at the close of business, 30 April 2021 being the last day for filing allowed for under section 109 of the Electoral Act 2019.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration (MJCA) and Registrar of Courts, Moliei Simi Vaai said one petition was filed on 29th April and the rest were filed Friday.

“This means 28 candidates in the recent General Election have raised questions before the Court with regards to the election or the election result against a winning candidate, the Electoral Commissioner or both.”

Seven different law firms are involved in legal representation of petitioners and it is their responsibility to serve copy of the petition on each respondent named. Prompt service of proceedings is imperative to the timeliness and prompt progression of court procedures.

Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese issued a Practice Note earlier last week to the Samoa Law Society stating timetabling directions for filing of counter petitions and responses within 5 working days after receipt of service of the petition.

An administrative checklist was also dispatched for ease of preparation of petitions. The Court has scheduled all 28 matters for a First Mention Call on Tuesday, 04th May 2021 for further directions of the Court.

SOURCE: TALAMUA ONLINE