31 Mar 2006

Samoa's prime minister denies sale of customary land

10:35 am on 31 March 2006

The Samoan prime minister says claims that he plans to sell customary land as security for World Bank loans is ridiculous.

The leaders of the SDUP and Samoa Party sent over 50,000 pamphlets to villages claiming the government wants to sell customary land.

Tuilaepa Sailele says the pamphlets are defamatory and in breach of election decency.

The Prime Minister says the opposition suggestion that government wants to use the customary land in World Bank transactions is false.

"The World Bank never takes any, to my knowledge, security of customary land. It lends only on the basis of the credibilty of a country on the basis of its good economic policies and financial policies and that has been the basis of our transactions to date."

Tuilaepa says the claims are a last minute effort to sabotage his election campaign.

Voting in Samoas general elections begin tomorrow.