15 Mar 2006

American Samoa Senate disappointed by Governor not attending special session

1:05 pm on 15 March 2006

Suggestions were made in the Senate yesterday that Governor Togiola should have delayed the special session until he returned from an off island trip.

The governor is leading American Samoa's delegation to the Pacific Trade Expo in New Zealand.

The Senate President, Lolo Letalu Moliga, said while the governor is not required by law to address the Fono when he convenes a special session, it is expected as a matter of courtesy between the two branches of government.

Senator Tuanaitau Tuia aired his disappointment that neither the Governor nor the Lt. Governor attended the Fono to discuss the legislation on the agenda for the special session.

He said members of the Fono are not children and should be treated with respect.

He said if the governor is off-island, then the Lt. Governor should come in his stead.

Senator Tuiagamoa Tavai agreed with Tuanaitau that not having the Governor address the Fono was a sign of disrespect.

He said the Governor should have delayed the session until he returned from New Zealand.