Nominations For Samoa Elections Open

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Ruling HRPP, Opposition Tautua put up candidates

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Feb. 8, 2016) – Nominations for next month’s general elections opened today. The ruling Human Rights Protection Party is fielding more than 100 candidates for the 49 seat parliament.

Meanwhile, the Opposition party, Tautua Samoa has secured 79 candidates who filled their nominations forms and sworn in for their party allegiance last Friday.

Tautua Samoa Party Secretary, Ken Lameta said they are expecting more candidates this week.

The Opposition Party held 12 seats in the last Parliament and the government 37.

Lameta told Talamua that after filling the nomination forms, nominees are then sworn on the Bible by the party lawyer Papali’i Li’o Masepa’u.

The Secretary also confirmed that the party will officially launch their manifesto and announce their candidates on the 16th February 2016.

[PIR editor’s note: On Feb. 9, 2016 Samoa Observer reported that the campaign season got off to an ugly start as "Candidate, Faumuina Asi Wayne Fong, is offering a reward of $1,000 for information on who vandalised his campaign billboard at Sinamoga."]

Meanwhile, after months of denials, Tautua party whip Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi finally crossed over to the ruling party camp last Friday.

Lealailepule attended the HRPP party meeting last Friday and the timing of his move follows the dissolution of parliament. He had not been seen at Tautua party media briefings for several months.

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