28 Mar 2018

Voting in Samoa Parliamentary elections to be compulsory

1:53 pm on 28 March 2018

The Samoa government says voting will be soon be compulsory for registered voters in future Parliamentary elections.

Electoral office in Mulinuu

Electoral office in Mulinuu Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

The Electoral Bill 2018 was introduced in Parliament this week by Justice Minister Fa'aolesa Katopau Ainu'u who said that it would be the duty of all registered voters to vote on election day because if they do not, they would be committing a crime.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi during a ministerial speech in Parliament this week said the bill will repeal the Electoral Act 1963, and will ensure elections are aligned with trends of today.

He went on and said that for the first time since Independence all members of parliament are matais or chiefs.

In the past only eligible voters who did not register were prosecuted but the voting was not compulsory.

Election officers in Samoa

Election officers in Samoa Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia