31 Jul 2003

Petition in American Samoa calling for Attorney General to be elected

4:21 pm on 31 July 2003

An American Samoan democracy watchdog group, Common Cause, has launched a petition to make the attorney general an elected officer.

The attorney general is currently appointed by the the govenor and confirmed by the legislature.

Common Cause president Taimane Johnson says an elected attorney general, answerable to the people, is needed to combat what is seen as growing corruption in the country.

She says that corruption is partly rooted in the meshing of a modern democratic government and Fa'a Samoa, the Samoan way, which has eroded the the checks and balances of a true democracy.

She says Senate President Lutu Fuimaono has promised the group he will introduce the law change.