27 Jul 2006

People who voted twice in Samoa's general election face legal action

7:51 am on 27 July 2006

About 149 people may have voted twice during Samoa's general elections in March.

The Samoa Observer reports that Electoral Commissioner, Tanuvasa Meleisea Isitolo Lemisio, initiated legal action against the alleged violators last month.

Constituencies with the highest number of double voters A'ana Alofi No 1, Faleata West, Vaimauga West and Aleipata itu pa i Lalo.

A'ana Alofi No 1 and Faleata West recorded 15 double votes each, while there were 11 each at Vaimauga West and Aleipata itu pa i lalo.

The Electoral Commission has strongly objected to suggestions that it sought legal advice on the matter only after the issue was raised in court.

The matter surfaced during a hearing on the election petition filed by defeated MP and former police minister Ulu Vaomalo Ulu Kini against successful candidate Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi.

The Electoral Commissioner was the second respondent in the petition.

A government lawyer who represented the Electoral Commissioner, told the court that a witness had allegedly double voted during the election.

The revelation prompted the Judge to ask the lawyer whether the Electoral Commissioner was not interested in pursuing reports of double voting.