22 Apr 2009

Samoans need to be educated about democratic rights, says academic

8:10 pm on 22 April 2009

A Samoan academic Dr Iati Iati says Samoans need to be educated about their rights and responsibilities under democracy if the country is to improve the quality of its governance.

Dr Iati says the long dominance of Samoa's government by the Human Rights and Protection Party means there is often little scrutiny of its actions.

In a new booklet called 'Civil Society, Political Accountability and Foreign Aid,' the Canterbury University academic says, while Samoa has an image as the stable democratic star in the Pacific, it faces significant issues of accountability and governance.

"I think people in Samoa in general need to be educated as to what their democratic rights are under the new framework we operate under now. I suspect that many people don't understand all the rights and responsibilities that they and their representatives have under the Westminster framework that we have in Samoa."