10 Apr 2019

American Samoa rejects background check proposals

1:59 pm on 10 April 2019

American Samoan senators have rejected a bill that would require the Election Commissioner to conduct background checks of candidates for political office.

The chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Tuiagamoa Tavai, said existing law was sufficient and there was no need for further background checks of candidates.

The current questionnaire for candidates running for office has a question relating to any criminal activity, he said.

Representative Faimealelei Anthony Allen, who sponsored the bill, said in the past, people who were convicted of crimes in other jurisdictions had been elected and served in the House of Representatives.

The bill could have prevented this happening again, he said.