Concerns as Samoans living overseas can’t vote in this weeks elections

Many Samoans living overseas can’t vote in this week’s general election as electoral law requires them to be in the country for six months prior to voting.

Covid travel restrictions and significant financial woes have sparked debate over whether citizens living offshore should be allowed to vote.

There are 500,000 Samoans living in New Zealand, the US, Australia and elsewhere, while just 200,000 in Samoa itself.

Although there is no clear data on how many of the diaspora are Samoan citizens, there are concerns extended voting rights could dictate elections results.