SAMOA HRPP PARTY LOSES MORE SEATS IN ELECTION PETITIONS

(17/8/21)

Samoa’s recently deposed ruling party, the Human Rights Protection Party has lost two more parliament seats in election petitions.

The Electoral court today delivered two decisions resulting from petition cases which went against the HRRP led by former prime minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi whose government has been replaced by one led by the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party.

The election of the MP for A’ana Alofi number 2, Aiono Afaese Toleafoa, the son of the former speaker Leaupepe Toleafoa Faafisi, has been declared void after the court said it had proven beyond reasonable doubt five charges of bribery and treating against him.

The court rejected counter allegations by against the petitioner and the FAST party’s unsuccessful candidate, Lolomatauama Eseta Mataituli, because the application was not filed in time.

Meanwhile another of HRPP’s MP for Falealili number 2, as well as the petitioner and the FAST party’s unsuccessful candidate, Veletaloola Lotomua Avauli, have been found guilty of corrupt practices through bribery and treating allegations.

Both are now ineligible to run in future elections for 10 years.

The petition results mean the number of HRPP MPs has dropped to 18 while the ruling FAST party maintains its 26 majority in the 51-seat parliament.

Tomorrow a decision on the election petition by an unsuccessful FAST party candidate, Papaplii Tavita Moala, against the former Minister of Education, Loau Keneti Sio, is expected to be delivered in the afternoon.
This will be the last case of the 28 petitions filed in court after the April 9 general election.

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