Samoan referendum, 1961

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A double referendum on a new constitution and independence took place in Western Samoa on 10 May 1961. A Constitutional Convention of Matai and associated groups had drawn up a proposed constitution. It reflected the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy, but restricted both standing and voting in elections to the Matai.[1] The referendums were supervised by the United Nations, and with both approved, the country gained independence on 1 January the following year.



Do you agree that on 1 January 1962 Western Samoa should become an independent State on the basis of that Constitution?[2]

Choice Votes %
For 29,882 85.40
Against 5,108 14.60
Invalid/blank votes 2,907
Total 37,897 100
Source: Direct Democracy

New constitution[edit]

Do you agree with the Constitution, adopted by the Constitutional Convention on 28 October 1960?[3]

Choice Votes %
For 31,426 86.49
Against 4,909 13.51
Invalid/blank votes 1,562
Total 37,897 100
Source: Direct Democracy


  1. ^ Nohlen, D, Grotz, F & Hartmann, C (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume II, p780 ISBN 0-19-924959-8
  2. ^ West-Samoa, 10. Mai 1961 : Unabhängigkeit Direct Democracy
  3. ^ West-Samoa, 10. Mai 1961 : Verfassung Direct Democracy