18 Nov 2005

Samoa opposition pushes for snap poll over doctors' mass resignation

2:22 pm on 18 November 2005

The opposition in Samoa says it was a surprise to hear its leader call for the government to step down and call an early election over the resignation of 27 public doctors.

The doctors had been taking industrial action over pay and conditions for the last nine weeks and resigned en masse two days ago.

During his weekly media conference, the opposition leader Le Mamea Ropati, demanded Tuilaepa Sailele step down and call a snap poll, saying he had handled the issue poorly.

The opposition deputy leader, Asiata Dr Saleimoa Vaai, says the party did not really know of the move before the media briefing.

"No, it wasn't discussed but this issue has been prolonged. It just seems to be an on-going one and we had discussed informally during the last ten odd weeks and this was the last thing we can ask for."