19 Jul 2006

Samoa Supreme Court dismisses election petition

9:48 am on 19 July 2006

Samoa's Supreme Court has dismissed an election petition by former Opposition Member of Parliament, Patea Satini Epati, against the Associate Minister of Education Solamalemalo Keneti Sio.

In his petition, the former Opposition MP accused the Electoral Commissioner's office of corrupt practices, after his lawyer in the early stage of the case had asked the court to withdraw allegations of bribery and treating against the winning candidate.

The allegations against the electoral office surfaced when a new polling booth for Sagaga Le Falefa constituency was not listed, and the non availability of electoral rolls for scrutineers in one of the polling booths on the day of the election.

Dismissing the case, Justice Shepherdson QC, said the grounds for the decision will be published at a later date.

The rulings on two other cases already heard are yet to be delivered.

Meanwhile the petition by the former minister of police is still being heard.