15 Nov 2006

SDUP leader upset by ruling on use of term Opposition

10:28 am on 15 November 2006

The leader of the Samoa Democratic United Party, Asiata Sale'imoa Va'ai, says he was surprised by the speaker's ruling which rejected the SDUP's request to lower the required number of MPs in an Opposition party from eight to seven.

Asiata says the speaker's decision with the backing of the prime minister and the ruling party who hold more than two thirds of the 49 seat parliament, is a sign of a one party state.

He says he is disappointed with the speakers ruling, but he says the SDUP is still recognized as a political party outside parliament with him as leader.

The SDUP leader says Prime Minister, Tuila' epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi's; ministerial statement about the issue in his view has violated standing orders.