24 Jul 2006

Samoa Electoral Commission of Inquiry discovers violation of the Electoral Act

10:36 am on 24 July 2006

The Electoral Commission of Inquiry in Samoa has found there were many discrepancies during this year's general election.

Speaking on local television, the Commission chairman, Leilua Punivalu, said testimonies and findings so far showed the Electoral Act was severely violated.

Leilua says there were instances of double voting and several others had cast their votes without being registered.

The chairman said many other electors were registered in constituencies they didn't belong to.

Many of the discrepancies were discovered by the Commission during investigations of special polling booths in the town area.

The booths are for constituencies on the country side of the two major islands of Upolu and Savaii.

Leilua said the irregularities meant disqualified voters and electors influenced the outcome of the election, rather than the choice being made by the rightful voters of the constituency.

The chairman says a report with recommendations will be passed on to cabinet before it goes to parliament for deliberation.