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Saturday is deadline for all candidates to file

fili@samoanews.com

More than 40 candidates for the local House race have filed their paperwork as of yesterday afternoon with the Election Office, and the EO says that so far only five gubernatorial teams have filed petitions for the post of governor and lieutenant governor.

There are still more petitions and papers picked up that have yet to be turned in and Chief Election Officer Soliai Tuipine Fuimaono reminds those individuals seeking public office this year that they must file by 4:30p.m. Sept. 1 (which is tomorrow), in accordance with local statue.

“I cannot emphasize enough the importance for all those who have not filed their paperwork and petitions with the Election Office to do so prior to the deadline,” said Soliai, who maintained that there would be no exception to the rule of law. “Please turn in the petitions as soon as possible instead of waiting to do it at 4:30p.m. Sept. 1.”

Among the main reasons why the Election Office asked candidates for office to file early is because it takes time to verify application, to ensure all qualifications cited under the law are met by each candidate and that the names of the voters, who signed the petition also must be verified, to ensure that person is a voter and is not signing the petition papers for more than one candidate.

As of 3:30p.m yesterday these are the gubernatorial teams who have filed for candidacy: Lolo Letalu M. Moliga and Lemanu Peleti Mauga; Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau and Utuali’i Iuniasolua Savusa; Save L. Tuitele and Sandra King-Young;  Faoa Aitofele Sunia and  Taufete’e John Faumuina; and Afoa L.S. Lutu and Le'i S. Thompson.

Yet to be file but who have already picked up the petition and paper work is the gubernatorial team of Tim Jones and Tuika Tuika Jr.

For the U.S. House race, candidates filed already are Rosie Tago Lancaster, Aumua Amata and incumbent Faleomavaega Eni. Not yet filed, but those who picked up petitions, are Fatumalala Leuluaiali’i Atualevao Al-Shehri and Kereti Matautia.

In the local House race, there are 20-elected members of the 21 member House. And as of 3:30p.m. yesterday, around 47 have filed with the Election Office and they include House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale, along with several incumbents.

The highest number of candidates who have filed in one county is in Tualauta County, which has two seats. Seven candidates have filed the required paperwork and petition and they include incumbents Larry Sanitoa and Tapumanaia Galu Satele Jr.

The 21st member of the House is Swain Island delegate and the Election Office will soon announce a date when a special open meeting will be held for all Swains Islanders in American Samoa to select their candidate.

In accordance with local statute, Soliai this month issued a proclamation to officially declare Nov. 6, 2012 as the date of general election in American Samoa with designated polling stations to open from 6a.m. to 6p.m.  (Prior to Election Day, Soliai will release the official list of designated polling stations territory-wide).

This year’s election is for the post of governor and lieutenant governor, congressional delegate and the local House.  Also on the ballot this year, is a referendum seeking to amend the local constitution giving veto-override power to the Legislature instead of the U.S. Secretary of Interior.

Samoa News will provide in tomorrow’s edition any new updates from the Election Office and then on next Tuesday, Sept. 4 because Monday, Sept. 3 is a public and federal holiday, Labor Day - and Samoa News will not publish that day.



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