Vote counting starts after Samoa election

AP News
Posted: Mar 05, 2011 12:47 AM
Vote counting starts after Samoa election

Vote counting has begun in the South Pacific island nation of Samoa after a general election that is expected to keep the long-ruling Human Rights Protection Party in power.

The party has governed Samoa for 30 years and held more than 70 percent of the seats in the 49-seat parliament prior to Saturday's election.

The HRPP, led by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, fielded 70 candidates in Samoa's mainly village-based electorates, while its main opposition, the Tautua Samoa Party, had 40 candidates.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi is poised to become Samoa's longest-serving prime minister, with 18 years in office, if he serves out the entire next five-year parliamentary term.

Officials expect to announce the results by Sunday.