23 May 2007

Samoa by-election winner spared election petition

3:17 pm on 23 May 2007

Samoa's Ministry of Justice says the winner of a parliamentary by-election early this month will not be facing an election petition case.

The re-elected MP for Vaimauga west constituency, Patu Ativalu, was accused by runner up Taumanupepe Teleso of bribery and treating during the night before the by-election when he allegedly gave money and alcohol to several voters.

Taumanupepe also accused the former opposition MP of corruption when Patu withdrew his petition against HRPP MP, Anauli Pofitu, following last year's general election.

Taumanupepe said he would file an election petition case following his loss in the by-election.

However, the Ministry of Justice says the seven days for filing petitions expired last Tuesday and it has not received a petition.

This period started from the day when the by-election results were officially announced.

A reliable source says differences between the runner up and the winner have been settled after several chiefs and orators of the Vaimauga district met last week.