19 Mar 2007

Samoan matai threatens to punish by-election candidate

5:37 am on 19 March 2007

A high ranking village orator in Samoa has threatened to punish a matai and former Manu Samoa rugby player who has declared his candidacy for Faleata east by-election to be held later this month.

The orator, Une Kelekolio, says matai of his village of Vaimoso and Faleata east constituency have endorsed the former opposition Member of Parliament, Patau'ave Etuale, to take over the parliamentary seat held by the late ruling HRPP MP, Manuleleua Lalagofa'atasi, without a by-election.

But he says the decision by the former Manu Samoa player and current CEO of the Samoa Association of sports and National Olympic committee, Aveau Niko Palamo, to run against the former MP shows disrespect to the one candidate decision.

Aveau, who is a matai of Vaimoso, says his village does not make decisions for his family and should allow a member of the late MP's extended family where he belongs to continue his parliamentary seat.