29 Apr 2011

Samoa call to review traditional mayors' role

7:53 am on 29 April 2011

Samoa's Electoral Court will prepare a report for the parliamentary speaker about the role being played by village mayors in election campaigns.

This comes after a challenge found that the petitioner and the elected MP were guilty of corrupt practices in the election in the Anoama'a East constituency.

The court had found that public officials and appointed government representatives appeared to be displaying a distinct lack of neutrality.

The court's ruling says they set poor examples for the village to follow, in particular to the young and impressionable members of the community.

The court has also pointed out it is disconcerting that a public official with a high standing in a village should be permitted to use his office to promote political views or a particular candidate's agenda.

In the court's view it should be established a clear demarcation between the official's public functions and private status as an elector or voter.