15 Apr 2011

Samoa election petitions clog court system

5:07 am on 15 April 2011

All Supreme Court business in Samoa has been pushed aside to make way for the hearing of election petitions stemming from last month's general election.

Yesterday was the second day of hearings of the first two of eight election petitions - one contesting the electoral victory of the leader of the Opposition party and the other that of the new MP for Anoama'a East.

Our correspondent in Apia, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, says there were originally 10 petitions but two have been withdrawn.

"The criminal cases and civil cases scheduled to be heard in the Supreme Court have been put on hold. I believe most of the criminal cases have been put back all the way to June/July."

However Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says a government proposal to do away with election petitions has generated public concern.