Billboards Vandalised, Police Report Filed

Campaign billboards being repaired after vandalism.

Member of Parliament for Faleata East Faumuina Leatinuu Wayne Fong has filed a police report after his billboards at Vaiusu were vandalised in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Village youth repairing the damage to Faumuina Leatinuu’s billboards.

Leatinuu says paint had been splashed across both sides of his billboards in an act of senseless vandalism which they suspect happened at about 3am in the morning.

The former HRPP Member of Parliament now running under the banner of FAST for the upcoming general elections says he went down to the Police Station himself to file a report on the incident.

Copy of Police report.

He says he hopes an investigation by Police will deter this from becoming a regular occurrence to billboards, as the April 9th general election draws near.

Billboards can be used to promote candidates and the issues they wish to inform the public.

Billboards are one of the few approved methods of campaigning under changes to the Electoral Act, and recently, they have been going up across Upolu and Savaii, for candidates of both FAST and HRPP.

Campaigning – Approved Methods

Amendments to the Electoral Act hopes to move Samoa toward voting on issues.

The approved methods for campaigning under S42(2) of the Electoral Act focuses on promoting the candidate, their key messages, and the issues for which they stand.

These are the only methods of campaigning allowed under law.

S42. Approved methods: (1) A candidate must only use the approved methods of campaigning provided under subsection (2).

Subsection (2): The approved methods for campaigning are as follows:

(a) handing out of pamphlets providing the candidate’s – (i) personal background; and (ii) academic qualifications; and (iii) issues for which he or she supports; 

(b) use of billboards to provide a pictorial presentation of the candidate and issues of which the candidate wishes to inform the public; or

(c) oral or filmed presentations or speeches using any mode of communication available which includes electronic devices.

(3) In this section “electronic devices” means any device that can be used to promote a candidate’s message for elections.