9 Apr 2021

Vote count underway in Samoa

7:50 pm on 9 April 2021

3pm today polling places around Samoa closed and counting of ballots for the parliamentary elections got underway.

Our correspondent reports the police presence was heavy at the polling places from the 8am opening.

On Savaii island voter turnout was heavy in the morning.

At Utulua, Asau, one of the chiefs, Masoe, said that voters cast ballots in the morning then go home and do their chores, like any other day.

Asked what he based his vote on, he said he voted for a stable and experienced government, one that has the interests of all of Samoa at heart.

Samoa Parliament

Samoa Parliament Photo: RNZ Pacific

He conceded he was surprised that government ministers were shaky after the pre polling.

Masoe and two other matai said they were still unsure about the results of the pre polling that had taken place over the last four days.

Just after 3pm at Sapini, Faga in Savaii, the counting of votes got underway.

Men, women and youths stood outside the guest-house where the voting took place while a female election official read the ballots.

The results will be electronically relayed to the Office of the Electoral Commission and announced on television and radio almost immediately.

According to election officials voter turnout out has been very good and it has been a smooth and peaceful election

The voters, numbering more than 130,000 are electing 49 members of parliament for the next five years.

Three sitting members have been returned unopposed - the caretaker prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, FAST leader Fiame Naomi Mataafa and HRPP associate minister Lealailepule Rimoni