4 Sep 2006

Samoa's Deputy Speaker rejects opposition leadership change

4:52 am on 4 September 2006

Samoa's deputy speaker of parliament, La'auli Leuatea Polataivao, says he has rejected a letter from the Samoa Democratic United party deputy leader, Asiata Sale'imoa Va'ai, notifying his office of the new change of leadership within their party.

La'auli says Le Mamea Ropati, is still the elected leader with Asiata as deputy leader.

He says the new leadership change does not meet the requirements of the Electoral act and standing orders.

La'auli says standing order number 20 requires eight or more caucus members to endorse any changes in a political party.

The deputy speaker is handling the leadership row in the main Opposition party while the speaker is attending a Commonwealth parliamentary meeting in Nigeria.

SDUP party leader has three MP's still loyal to him while the deputy leader, Asiata Sale'imoa Va'ai, has four.

But one of Asiata's supporters has withdrawn support for him and says he will act as a mediator in order to seek a solution.