21 Feb 2011

Tautua Samoa deplores disqualifications

2:37 pm on 21 February 2011

One of the founders of Samoa's Tautua Samoa party says the disqualification of two of his party's candidates from next month's election is a very sad day for the country.

The two candidates were disqualified over a provision in the electoral act which requires village leaders to approve the nomination, on the basis of service to the community.

Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi says the decision gives more power to village mayors.

"Our democracy is going nowhere. And it's sad that since the beginning of the Tautua Samoa party back in 2009, we have been going through court cases and court cases every year. And now, right up to election day, We are still facing these court cases. It's very unfair, and it's so hard to define service to the village, because everyone is contributing one way or another."

Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi says anybody should be able to be nominated, and the decision should be up to the electors.