Office of the Electoral Commission ready for by-election


There are 11 polling stations set up for the Gagaifomauga #2 Constituency by-elections scheduled on the 3 June 2022.

There are nine polling stations in Savaii, with eight in the Constituency and one special booth in Salelologa.

This was confirmed by the Acting Electoral Commissioner, Unasa Charles Ah Poe during a talkback program regarding efforts in the upcoming by-election.

He said there are two polling booths in Apia for members of the Constituency that are unable to travel to Savaii to cast their vote, one at the Tuanaimato Sports Complex and the other at their office.  Adding the by-election in 2021 there were only six polling booths.  

The Acting Electoral Commissioner said the increase in the number of polling booths is to minimize congestion in an area, which is in line with State of Emergency Orders on social distancing.

He said this is for the protection of the public and to minimize the spread of the Covid-19.  Unasa says there are 2,031 confirmed voters in the Constituency. According to Electoral Law, every registered voter is required to cast a ballot.  

Last year when the FAST Administration took office amended electoral laws allowing Savaii residents to vote in Upolu, whereas in the past, the voters were legally obligated to vote in their Constituency.

Initially there were five candidates vying for the Gagaifomauga #2 after the seat was vacated by the passing of Associate Minister of MAF, Vaele Paiaaua Sekuini, in March.

However former Associate Minister of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, So’oalo, one of the two HRPP members withdrew his candidacy.

Now the Human Rights Protection Party has one candidate Sooalo Fineaso Poka. The Faatuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi, endorsed one candidate, Lomia Tauloa Moafanua Siaaga.  There are two independent Members, Falesaopule Vaialia Iosua and Foisala Lilo Tuu Ioane.  

Unasa said they are still waiting for the official list of Secretaries from the Candidates that will be stationed at each polling station, as a scrutineer.

Furthermore, the Acting Electoral Commissioner said the scrutineers undergo training on their duties inside the polling stations.

However, from experience, the Secretaries changes last minute and this creates problems, as the trained scrutineer who understands protocols is not the one present at the polling booths.