3 Apr 2007

Resistance in American Samoan senate to planned additional ballotting

1:45 pm on 3 April 2007

There appears to be only one senator in American Samoa to back Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin call for key changes.

Faleomavaega has introduced a bill directing the Secretary of the Interior to include three crucial questions in next year's election in the territory.

The congressman wants voters to answer questions on the ballot about the election of senators, U.S. citizenship for American Samoans and the estabishment of a federal district court.

Senator Faiivae Galeai says the Congressman has every right to introduce whatever bill he wants to.

"Well I have no objection at all. Yes, I support everything Faleomavaega says and I think I'm the only one who supports Faleomavaega."

Meanwhile, another senator, Tuaolo Fruean, says there was utter surprise and opposition to the bill when senators heard about it on Friday.

He says many American Samoas want to keep the status quo.

Well we feel these are very touchy issues belonging to American Samoa and to the people. You know electing our senators and bringing a federal district court down here. We already had a public hearing on the federal district court. Eni was present here that day. And the people unanimously said we don't want a federal district court down here.

Senator Tuaolo Fruean.