No New Candidates for Snap Elections

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Special Votes count post polling day in the 9th April General Elections. Photo: Taielua Tuasivi.

Samoa’s snap elections called Tuesday night by the Head of the State His Highness Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II will essentially be a replay of the April 9th general elections and not fresh elections since no new candidates are to be registered.

Snap elections for Samoa just a month over the 9th April polling day were declared by the Head of State His Highness Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II in a public notice last night.

The Office of the Electoral Commission has issued a Writ for General Election 2021 outlining official dates for when the nation must go back to the polls as declared by the Head of State in a public notice read from his Vailele residence at 8pm Tuesday night, 4th May 2021.

OEC officials and Scrutineers hard at work during the official count of April 9th General Elections.

The writ of elections is silent to new candidates, or the ability of a candidate to register under a different party.

The writ does call for withdrawals to be made known by Friday 7th May, suggesting they are withdrawing from the list of registered candidates from the 9th April 2021 General Elections.

The writ states the 4th of May as the Day for Issue of Public Notice with Polling Day declared as Friday 21st May 2021.

The last day of the withdrawal of nominations is Friday 7th May 2021, assuming this refers to registered candidates from the April 9th general election who may now choose not to run.

The Pre-Polling day is listed as Wednesday 19th May 2021.

The latest day for the return of Writ is Friday 4th June 2021.

Faatuatua i Le Atua Samoa ua Tasi party who hold 26 seats from the April 9th general elections, have rejected the declaration by the Head of State for new elections, calling it unconstitutional and unlawful.

Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa, 27 April 2021. 📷 Maina Vai, SGN.

“These proposed actions are wrong, these proposed actions are unlawful, these proposed actions threaten and undermine the rule of law,” says FAST party leader Fiame Naomi Mataafa.

FAST is expected to file a motion to challenge the constitutionality of the Head of State’s declaration for Samoa to return to the polls in two weeks time.

“I do not consider that the Head of State has the constitutional power to call a new election at this time,” said former Deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa.