21 Jun 2010

Governor claims no role in American Samoa convention delegate choice

3:10 pm on 21 June 2010

The American Samoa governor, Togiola Tulafono, has reacted to publicised allegations that he had a hand in the selection of delegates to the Constitutional Convention, which opens in Pago Pago tomorrow.

A total of 145 delegates will review, debate and approve any amendments to the territory's constitution during the two-week convention.

Last week the Samoa News published a letter to the editor accusing the Governor of manipulating the selection of delegates.

But Togiola says he had nothing to do with the selection process, which is left up to each county in accordance with the constitution.

The Governor says the only request he made to each county was not to chose only chiefs but go for a broader representation, including women and young people.

He says his county asked him to be a member of the delegation, but he turned the offer down to ensure there was no possible conflict.