2 Feb 2016

Samoa's parliament dissolved ahead of March election

9:48 am on 2 February 2016

Samoa's Parliament has been dissolved as the country prepares for the general elections on 4 March.

In closing the parliament, the Head of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, praised the Ombudsman's Office for achieving the first human rights report.

He reflected on the parliamentary term, acknowledging Samoa's approach to advance technology with the privatisation of the Samotel Company, and the move to invest in new technical submarine optical cables.

He also noted the country's reslience in surviving Cyclone Evan in September.

Last year, the Acting Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio, said 10,000 new voters and electors were registered before registration closed in November.

He also said an amendment to the electoral law increased penalties for vote-tampering from three months to 12 months imprisonment.

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Photo: RNZ / Mary Baines