Supreme Court Sets Out Schedule for Candidate Eligibility Challenges

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Acting Chief Justice, Mata Keli Tuatagaloa has set out the Court schedule for electoral candidate eligibility petitions to be heard before the Supreme Court of Samoa over the next three weeks.

Three applications were withdrawn on Friday, including the application by Minister of Finance Sili Epa Tuioti against a registered candidate of Fa’asalele’aga No.1. Businessman Fiu Gasologa Foloki has withdrawn his application for candidacy following the confirmation of a 2016 conviction for Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) in the District Court.

The second withdrawn petition is the application by Vui Seigafolava Sione Masinamua who was deemed ineligible by the Electoral Commissioner for not satisfying the minimum 305 days per year of residency in the preceding three years. Vui is the deputy leader and spokesperson of the SNDP political party. 

The third petition to be withdrawn is that by I’a Sau Toeupu Kaisara who had announced his intention to run for HRPP, however, he was not named in the Electoral Commissioners 200 approved list of candidates.

Justice Tuatagaloa has warned counsels to adhere to strict timelines and to be prepared to work after hours.  

“To all counsels of all parties of these petitions, please keep in mind that there will be proceedings continuing after 5pm and also proceedings that will take place on Saturdays,” Justice Tuatagaloa said.

The dates and Judges who will be hearing the petitions are as follows:

  1. Leumuava Aselemo Tuimauga vs Electoral Commissioner 10/11 November (Justice Tuatagaloa/Justice Lesa)
  2. Fata Ryan Schuster vs AG (on behalf of OEC) 10/11 November (Justice Fepuleai/ Justice Leiataualesa)
  3. Vui Seigafolava Sione Masinamua vs OEC/Toi Sakalia Taituave (withdrawn) (10/11 November)
  4. Aliimalemanu Alofa Tu’uau vs Office of the Electoral Commissioner 10/11 November (Justice Lesa/ Justice Vui)
  5. Faletagoa’i Tausaga vs Tu’ula Kiliri Tuitui (12/13 November) (Justice Leiataualesa/Justice Tuatagaloa)
  6. Papalii Tavita Moala vs AG (12/13 November) 
  7. Su’a Samuelu Su’a vs Electoral Commissioner (13/16 November)
  8. Fata Meafou vs AG, Taliaoa Viliamu/ Puna Kelekolio (13/16 November)
  9. Leiataualesa Fa’aui Niuapu I vs Sianifoa Vaimoana So’oaemalelagi/EOC (17/18 November)
  10. To’i Ioane Ilalio vs To’i Ioane Tautuave/OEC (17/18 November)
  11. Fuatimau vs OEC/ Magailefua Tuiafiso/Gafoaleata Faitua (17/18 November)
  12. Tuifa’asisina Misa Lisati vs OEC/ Aiolupotea Toni (17/18 November)
  13. Tuifa’asisina Misa Lisati vs OEC/Mata’afa Fa’avae (19/20 November)
  14. Paloa James Stowers vs OEC (23/24 November)
  15. Tevaga Tupuivao Mapusaga/ Tuala Tevaga Ponifasio vs OEC (23/24 November)
  16. I’a Sau Toeupu Kaisara vs OEC (withdrawn) (23/24 November)
  17. Siili Epa Tuioti vs OEC/ Fiu Gasologa (withdrawn) (23/24 November)
  18. Le’oa Tauti Kalepo/Tuala Tevaga Ponifasio vs OEC (25/26 November)
  19. Talafai Toma Amosa vs AG/OEC (25/26 November)
  20. Mulipola Leiataua Laki Misilei vs AG/OEC (25/26 November)

Marieta H Ilalio