9 Feb 2012

Two Samoan MPs strongly opposed to plans to replace their individual voters' seats

7:48 pm on 9 February 2012

The two MPs in Samoa's parliament representing individual voters - those descended from non-Samoans - have made a stern stand against government moves to replace their seats with 2 urban seats.

The government plan is that the new seats would be for people living on leased lands and those who own freehold properties in the town area.

The MPs, Maualaivao Pat Ah Him and Papali'i Niko Lee Hang, are opposing the government move in a submission to the Commission of Inquiry looking at amendments to the Electoral Act.

The commission's terms of reference include the recommendations of a previous inquiry which said the individual voters seats should be abandoned.

Both MPs say plans to do away with the seats would violate individual voters' rights as guaranteed under the constitution.