26 Jan 2012

Samoa to counter problems triggering petitions

8:34 am on 26 January 2012

A Commission of Inquiry into Samoa's Electoral Act is hopeful it will be able to make recommendations to make future general elections smoother and fairer.

Cabinet has asked the nine-member commission to look at a variety of issues, including problems that have resulted in electoral petitions.

Its chairperson, Maiava Iulai Toma, says members will consider examples of petitions filed after last year's election.

"I guess if you look at the electoral petitions also, there are some old ones that have always been there. The petitions continue to highlight problems of corrupt practice versus customary practice, when people give things. Problems also arose in connection with a recent innovation requiring the pulenu'u in each village to endorse a candidature for election and anything else that may occur to people as being problematical."

Maiava Iulai Toma.

The inquiry, which gets underway on February the 7th, will consider possible changes to the Electoral Act and will seek public submissions, with recommendations made to cabinet due three months later.