16 May 2011

Third Samoa MP loses seat

6:27 am on 16 May 2011

Another minister in Samoa's government has lost his seat, after being found guilty of bribery and treating.

Samoa's Associate Minister of natural resources and environment Seuala Taua Kitiona Tavaga, is the second ruling HRPP party MP to lose a parliamentary seat.

The Aleipata Itupa i Luga constituency will now elect an MP in a by-election to be called soon by the Electoral Commissioner's office.

Seuala was found guilty of eight counts of bribery and four counts of treating in an election petition brought against him by an independent unsuccessful candidate, Fuataga Kasimani Lautusi, who is the paramount chief of Lalomanu village.

The petitioner was also found guilty of six counts of bribery and treating in a counter petition by the respondent.

At present three MPs who won in the general election in March have lost their seats as a result of election petitions including the former opposition leader, Va'ai Papu Vailupe.