The Prime Minister of Samoa Tuilaepa Sailele has rejected suggestions that the government's free education scheme is connected to next year's general elections .
Tuilaepa has told parliament that it's ridiculous to make such a connection, after the Independent MP, Mulipola Oliva, asked why it has taken so long for the government to implement free education.
Mr Oliva questioned why the government hadn't done so right after the last election but waited until now, the year before the next elections.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa says the initiative was discussed when families were struggling with school fees during the financial crisis.
He says the result of the discussions is the scheme which begins next month, in which education will be free for students attending primary schools run by the government and churches.