21 Jun 2016

Concerns American Samoa govt directing staff voting

7:53 am on 21 June 2016

A candidate for governor in American Samoa has claimed some government offices are telling staff which campaign they should be supporting.

Gubernatorial candidate, Faoa Aitofele Sunia, talking to supporters during a campaign event.

Gubernatorial candidate, Faoa Aitofele Sunia, talking to supporters during a campaign event. Photo: RNZI / Fili Sagapolutele

The former lieutenant governor Faoa Aitofele Sunia made the statement during his candidacy announcement along with his running mate, Larry Sanitoa, for the November gubernatorial race.

During his remarks, Faoa welcomed government employees, saying he and Sanitoa had been informed that some offices have directed employees regarding which side they should support.

Faoa, an attorney by profession, said government employees should know and understand their rights are protected under the law when it comes to voting.

Last Friday, the governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga reminded his cabinet directors, of the rights of employees to choose who they want to vote for.

Lolo also reminded directors that the use of government vehicles, assets, and property for campaigning is illegal.

He said employees are free to campaign for their own candidate but it must be done outside of office hours and outside of government offices.

American Samoa Governor Lolo Moliga.

American Samoa Governor Lolo Moliga. Photo: RNZI Monica Miller

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