Early voting has begun in Samoa for six by-elections
Apia, SAMOA — Early voting has started in Samoa for by-elections in six electoral constituencies on the island of Upolu.
Seven by-elections had been planned, but Savai'i's only by-election was decided on Monday, when the Supreme Court disqualified one of two registered candidates in the Falealupo electoral constituency, handing the governing FAST Party the Falealupo seat, unopposed.
In a special programme posted on social media, Electoral Commissioner Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio confirmed that Fuiono Tenina Chrichton will be the unopposed member for the Falealupo seat.
Voter registration closed two weeks ago for all electoral constituencies and Faimalomatumua said there would be no late registrations on polling day.
Changes since the April General Elections include pre-polling being for one day only.
Instead pre-polling votes will be counted along with the general votes after close of polls this Friday, November 26.
The six by-elections are for the A'ana Alofi 2, Sagaga 4, Sagaga 2, Safata 2, Falealili 2, and Aleipata-itupa-i-lalo constituencies.
Two candidates are competing for the Aleipata-itupa-i-lalo seat, one each from FAST and the opposition Human Rights Protection Party.
Falealili 2 have two FAST candidates running against a single HRPP candidate, while Safata 2 is being contested by one candidate each for FAST and HRPP.
The A'ana Alofi 2 seat is being contested by one independent, one FAST and two HRPP candidates.
Meanwhile Sagaga 4 will be contested by one candidate each from FAST and HRPP, and Sagaga 2 has 3 FAST candidates, 2 HRPP and 1 independent vying for the constituency seat.
By-elections start at 8am Friday, and close at 4pm.