3 Apr 2007

Samoa Democratic United Party looks for eighth member

10:58 am on 3 April 2007

The Samoa Democratic United Party says while it's still looking for an eighth member, it's main focus is to have the law changed so it can be recognised in parliament as an official party.

The SDUP has been struggling to get candidates to run for the up-coming by-elections after the government ruled it was no longer recognised as the official opposition party saying it needed 8 MPs to be an opposition party, and the party only had 7.

The secretary for SDUP, Tuia Pua Fuatogi Letoa, says any democratic parliament should have an opposition and the government should lower the numbers of members needed for a party to be recognised.

"Our main concern is to recognised in parliament. It's not the number, if you're looking at New Zealand it has a way bigger parliament than Samoa. but we do believe that New Zealand, two, three they can be a recognised party in parliament and that is our argument. If a bigger government can have such numbers to be recognised, why can't Samoa?"

Mr Letoa says the party currently has a petition in the court of Samoa saying the governments decision is unconstitutional.