5 Oct 2010

Samoa to go to polls in early March

1:06 pm on 5 October 2010

Samoa's general elections will be held on Friday, March the 4th next year.

The date has been announced in parliament by the prime minister, Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

Tuilaepa says parliament is to be dissolved in January.

Weeks ago, he predicted his Human Rights Protection Party or HRPP will be returned to power.

Opponents and other critics complain that HRPP has arranged matters to suppress the opposition and offer unfair incentives.

For instance every MP of the HRPP is an associate minister, which among other big benefits entitles them to large fuel allowances.

The HRPP holds more than two thirds majority in the 49-seat parliament.

The party has been in power since 1979, and Tuilaepa took over as prime minister in 1998 after decades as deputy to the late Tofilau Eti Alesana.