30 Oct 2010

Samoa Attorney General denies Tuiatua under control of government

8:26 am on 30 October 2010

Samoa's Attorney General, Aumua Ming Leung Wai says the Head of State, Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi, had no choice but to sign into law a bill allowing casinos.

MP Palusalue Fa'apo the Second told the Samoa Observer newspaper that the Head of State assented to the bill because Tuiatua was under the control of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi's government.

However, in a letter to the editor, the Attorney General says the implication in a Samoa Observer editorial that the Head of State signed because he favoured casinos was also wrong.

Aumua Ming Leung Wai says the Head of State has no discretion under the Constitution to refuse assent if he is advised by the Prime Minister to assent to a bill.

He says his office may take legal action if teh Observer's editor in chief Savea Sano Malifa and those responsible fo such statements do not take remedial action.