30 Jul 2009

Tautua Samoa party members to face contempt of parliament charges

11:00 am on 30 July 2009

There are fears from the Tautua Samoa party that the Prime Minister is making moves to amend the Electoral Act to gain more power to rule as a one party state.

The nine MPs of the Tautua Samoa party will be facing contempt of parliament charges when they return to parliament next month, following the defeat of the speaker's ruling to dissolve their seats in a recent legal action.

But our Samoa correspondent Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says there are fears from the party that the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi is seeking to gain more power to rule.

"The Prime Minister has told local reporters here the purpose of making further amendments to the Electoral Act is to maintain the stability of Government and Parliament by not allowing member of Parliament who resigned and became an independent MP or a member who won an election or by-election as an independent MP to make a move outside of Parliament by forming a political party."

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says the major concern of the government is seeing members of Parliament forming a political party outside of parliament even though it would not be recognised inside the house.