29 Sep 2010

Unexplained Misa move fuels speculation in Samoa

12:10 pm on 29 September 2010

Samoa's acting Prime Minister, Misa Telefoni, and village chiefs are remaining tightlipped about his resignation from his constituency and his subsequent banishment from his village of Falelatai.

Chiefs were dissatisfied that Misa had tendered his resignation as their member of parliament two weeks ago by letter rather than in person, which goes against cultural protocols.

Misa has been the MP for Falelatai and Samatau since he entered parliament in 1988.

Our correspondent in Apia, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, says the reluctance of Misa and the chiefs to talk about it publicly has resulted in much speculation in the community.

"There's a lot of speculation flying all over the place. One speculation suggested that he maybe has got a top diplomatic job offered for next year. Others are saying that he would most probably run for the individual voters' two seats in parliament because our new amendment to the electoral act requires individual voter candidates to have a matai title. He's already had a matai title of Misa and he's got another one of Tugaga. So that's another speculation that he might run for a constituency in Savaii where he holds the Tugaga matai title."

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia.