22 Mar 2006

Samoa village banishes election candidate

4:15 pm on 22 March 2006

The Samoan village of Lepea has reportedly banished a candidate of the ruling Human Rights Protection Party for disobeying village orders not to seek re-election next week.

The Samoa Observer quotes a village source as says Lepou Petelo II and his family were ordered by the Lepea Village Council to leave over the issue.

Lepea had an agreement with Vaimoso village that they would alternate the seat for Faleata seat beween them.

Since Lepou had continued the term of former MP Faumuina Anapapa of Lepea when Faumuina was appointed a member of the Council of Deputies in 2002, it was understood that Vaimoso would hold the seat in the next Parliament.

But when candidates for the general elections were announced last Friday, Lepou was among them.

Vaimoso village has selected Manuleleua Lalagofaatasi Leleua as its candidate but to the shock of Lepea chiefs, Lepou also registered his candidacy.

Lepou is the parliamentary undersecretary in the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture in the HRPP Government.

He told the Samoa Observer last week that it was his democratic right to run as a candidate.

He said under the law he was allowed to run.