11 Oct 2010

Samoa PM welcomes election challenge in his seat

1:49 pm on 11 October 2010

Samoa's prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, has welcomed a challenge in the Lepa seat he's held for 25 years.

His opponent in next year's general election is Tuula Kiliri from the village of Saleapaga.

According to the Talamua online news services Tuilaepa's supporters in Saleapaga say Tuula will be banished from the village if he runs and loses.

But Tuilaepa has told a news conference that while a village may decide to back one candidate, this doesn't stop another person contesting the seat.

Tuula has been labeled a young boy by Tuilaepa's supporters, but the Prime Minister says his challenger is a matai and so is eligible to contest the seat.