21 Jun 2011

Samoa village banishes chief for running in election

3:24 pm on 21 June 2011

A Samoan chief or matai has been banished from his village for contesting this year's general elections.

Aloiamoa Tua Savai'i was one of three candidates who contested the Satupaitea seat.

Aloiamoa said he read about his banishment in a Samoan newspaper while in New Zealand.

He said Satupaitea had decided to support only one candidate but he made up his mind to run anyway.

Aloiamoa is unsure what the decision means as banishments comes in different forms.

For example he may be banished from entering the village or permitted to stay but can no longer participate in village meetings and decisions.

Aloiamoa says he is saddened by the decision, especially by the fact it was made in his absence.

The winning candidate Tavui Tiafau Salevao has lost the seat in a petition and Aloiamoa plans to contest the by-election, but because of the banishment he may not be able to.