16 Jan 2006

First woman to lead Samoa political party outlines policy

11:11 am on 16 January 2006

The first woman to lead a political party in Samoa claims she'll work for the benefit of all people if elected.

Tuala Tiresa Malietoa heads the Samoa Christian Party going into the general election in March.

Tuala says all the party's executive officers are women, but it's not a women's party, as it acknowledges the Christian heritage of Samoa.

She says if elected the party's representatives will promote the development of all groups within society...

"...from the beginning of time, the Samoan women have been free and uninhibited in our own cultural organisation. We bring in a new perspective, and a new and a fresh attitude to national governance and national development."

Five parties are set to contest the election; currently the only two parties in parliament are the ruling Human Rights Protection Party and the opposition Samoa Democratic United Party.

Also throwing their hats into the ring are the Samoa Party - led by former auditor general Su'a Rimoni Ah Chong - and the Samoa Progressive Party - led by the former minister Toalepaili'i Toesulusulu Siueva the Second.