28 Mar 2007

Former Samoan MP swaps sides to contest by-election

9:21 am on 28 March 2007

A former Samoa Democratic United party MP, Patu Ativalu Togi II, has declared that he will compete in the Vaimauga west constituency's by-election for the ruling Human Rights Protection party or HRPP.

The former opposition MP says his family, village and supporters within the constituency have strongly urged him to switch to the government side as the SDUP is no longer recognised as an opposition party.

Patu won one of the two seats of Vaimauga west in parliament during the 2001 general election where he became an independent MP and later joined the SDUP under the leadership of former opposition leader, Le Mamea Ropati.

He did not make it back to politics after last year's general election, however he had filed an election petition against one of the winners.

But his petition alleging bribery and treating was later withdrawn.

The Electoral commissioner is yet to announce a date for Vaimauga west by-election following the sudden death of the late independent and former SDUP party MP, Sililoto Tolo Tua'ifaiva.