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Uiagalelei reconfirms no runoff for Congressional race

Responding to Samoa News inquiries, chief election officer Uiagalelei Dr. Lealofi Uiagalelei reconfirmed that the local Congressional race does not require a run-off if a candidate does not receive 50 percent-plus one vote in the general election.


He said federal legislation, referred to as the “plurality bill”, enacted into federal law and later adopted into local election law several years ago, allows there to be no run-off for American Samoa’s seat to the US House of Representatives. “It’s a one-shot deal,” he said.


Only the gubernatorial race has a run-off if no one receives 50 percent plus one vote during the general election, Uiagalelei noted. And if a run-off is needed, then it’s held two weeks after the general election, in accordance with local election law.


Samoa News received an inquiry yesterday about a Congressional race runoff especially as there are 5 candidates in this year’s race.


Then-Congressman Faleomavaega Eni introduced the plurality bill in 2004, after local officials failed to set by local law a primary election for the Congressional seat. The bill was approved later in 2004 and signed into law the following year, and then it became effective in the 2006 general election.


The federal law “requires a plurality, instead of a majority, to elect the American Samoan Delegate to the United States House of Representatives and authorizes the American Samoan legislature to establish primary elections for the office of Delegate” if they choose.