8 Jun 2006

Court in Samoa rejects village decision to banish matai

6:03 am on 8 June 2006

A Lands and Titles court ruling in Samoa has rejected a village council decision to banish one of their matais who was a former Member of Parliament in the past five years.

Lepea village council in March this year had decided to banish former MP Lepou Petelo when he did not honor an agreement with other villages of the constituency to take turns in holding the seat.

Lepou ignored the agreement and was still running in this year's election.

He took the village council decision to the lands and titles court.

The court ruling says the rights of the former MP to run as a candidate in the election is guaranteed in the country's constitution and therefore he didn't break any laws and the banishment was unlawful.