11 May 2010

Samoa Opposition says villagers told to back only Government candidates

10:37 am on 11 May 2010

The Chief Executive in the Samoan Prime Minister's office, Vaosa Epa, says the government is not supporting village level restrictions on who can stand in by-elections.

There are reports that several villages have imposed bans against candidates of the Tautua Samoa party ahead of this week's by-elections.

Tautua Samoa candidate, Palusalue Faapo II, says some villages in his constituency of Safata have told voters to back only government candidates and not him.

Another Tautua Samoa candidate, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, says he is also concerned about the ban imposed by two villages in his constituency of Faleata west.

But Vaosa Epa says the government does not condone such action.

"If there is any ban that has been imposed it will be from the constituencies themselves and it will be from the village council."

Vaosa Epa says government supports the freedom to vote and would not impose measures on voters which prevent that.