3 Apr 2007

Samoa's SDUP leader queries delay in ruling

3:33 pm on 3 April 2007

The leader of the Samoa Democratic United Party says his legal proceedings to force the government to recognise the SDUP as a party in parliament is being intentionally stalled.

The government no longer recognises the SDUP as the official opposition party after the speaker ruled the party needed 8 MPs to be an opposition party, and the seven the party had was not enough.

The leader of the SDUP, Asiata Saleimoa Va'ai, says he filed an interim injunction questioning the legality of the ruling last November.

Asiata says a decision should have taken only a couple of days.

"We have these problems of big numbers in parliament and the justice system, just my view, is they're really delaying it intentionally. I can't see any reason why the thing would take nearly four months rather than two days. Its taken them that long to come with an interim decision which went against us. My lawyer and I now, are just trying to have the matter heard by a judge from outside, you can't get a fair hearing here."

Asiata Saleimoa Va'ai says SDUP's main focus is to find an eighth member for the party.