28 Oct 2010

Faleomavaega doubts success of federal law challenge in American Samoa

4:23 pm on 28 October 2010

American Samoa's US Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin has expressed concern at a proposed constitutional amendment initiated by the territory's governor, Togiola Tulafono.

The amendment would allow the territory to stop the enforcement of any US federal law which local politicians believe would be detrimental to the people of American Samoa.

It is one of 39 amendments that voters in the territory will vote on in the next week's general elections.

Faleomavaega says the proposed amendment was passed at the constitutional convention by the narrowest of margins and will find little support in Washington.

"In my opinion such a change to our constitution would not be support, neither by the Secretary of the Interior nor by members of Congress. This amendment will decide many aspects of our relationship with the federal government but we have yet to discuss the parameters of our future political relationship with the United States as it was discussed before the organisation and the deliberations of the constitutional convention."