15 May 2006

Samoa opposition criticises appointments of Associate Ministers

9:08 am on 15 May 2006

The appointment this week of twenty Associate Ministers by Samoa's Prime Minister has been criticized by the Deputy Leader of the main Opposition party.

The Deputy Leader Asiata Sale'imoa Va'ai says the appointment is unlawful.

He says that Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoli'ai Sa'ilele Malielegaoi and his government have made the decision without Parliament's approval.

After announcing the new appointments last week, the Prime Minister said amendments to change Parliamentary Under-secretaries to Associate Ministers will be tabled in parliament at the end of the month.

But Asiata says the move shows that the government is continuing to ignore democratic parliamentary rules.

And with the ruling Human Rights Protection Party holding 35 of the 49 parliamentary seats, Asista says the HRPP has too much power with checks and balances in parliament still being ignored.