12 Jan 2018

Four new parliamentary seats proposed in Samoa

3:29 pm on 12 January 2018

At least four new parliamentary seats could be introduced in Samoa under proposed changes to the Electoral and Constitutional Acts.

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Photo: RNZI / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

The electoral commissioner, Faimalo Mathew Lemisio, told the Samoa Observer that amendments have been drafted and given to cabinet, which is currently deliberating.

In the last electoral review, the districts of Vaimauga and Faleata were given additional urban seats which became effective in the 2016 general election.

Our correspondent said it looked likely those districts would each get another seat to cater for continuing migration from rural areas, as people search for employment.

She said the village of Le'auva'a could also be given a seat in the house, even though it is one of two villages on the main island of Upolu tied traditionally and electorally to the big island, Savai'i.

An additional seat for Upolu's Safata electorate has also been proposed but it's not known when Cabinet will make a decision.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has previously indicated that more seats may need to be added to parliament due to population shift to urban areas.