30 Sep 2006

Samoa Democratic United party no longer has numbers to be main opposition party

6:36 am on 30 September 2006

The Samoa Democratic United party or SDUP no longer has the numbers to be the main opposition party in Samoa.

This follows the party's former leader, Le Mamea Ropati stepping down, and another MP Siloto Tolo, who presented his resignation letter to the speaker of parliament yesterday.

The MP says the decision to leave was difficult.

The SDUP now has just seven MPs and is one short of the number required to be the main Opposition party.

Its Party leader, Asiata Sale'imoa Va'ai, says he intends to move a motion in parliament when it reconvenes in early November, aiming for the standing orders to be amended.

This will allow the remaining seven party MPs to still be recognized in parliament as the main Opposition.

But Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, says that Asiata should approach him first.

Tuila'epa says the situation faced by the SDUP will be discussed in a Caucus meeting of his party.