29 Feb 2016

Samoa election candidates careful to avoid bribery allegations

2:51 pm on 29 February 2016

It appears candidates in Samoa's upcoming general election have stayed away from a number of social activities in order to avoid allegations of bribery.

Ballot box in a Vanuatu election.

Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Our correspondent said stricter electoral laws meant there could no longer be traditional presentations of food, money and fine mats by the sitting MPs and election candidates.

He said as a result, the lead up to this election had seen candidates attending far less social events.

The acting electoral commissioner Faimalotumua Mathew Lemisio said feedback from candidates showed the awareness campaigns they had been running on this had had an impact.

"For some cultural and social activities that they don't have any relation to, they felt like it's a risk for them to participate and it might be percieved by some people as bribery, and that's the feedback that we've been getting and from our perspective I think that shows that some of the work that we're doing is actually getting the message across."

Samoa will go to the polls this Friday 4 March.