6 Mar 2012

Samoa PM cites safety reasons for fono demolition

2:56 pm on 6 March 2012

Samoa's Prime Minister says the country's old parliament house needs to be demolished because it is unsafe.

The 94-year old fono is to be demolished this week.

The building was scheduled to be demolished yesterday but the Speaker of the House, La'auli Polataivao, stopped the workers from carrying out the job.

Our correspondent in Apia, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says after Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi spoke to Parliament, outlining his reasons, the speaker overturned his decision.

"The Prime Minister in his ministerial speech, he said the house is no longer safe, and for the safety of the people, it needs to be demolished and removed. There is a lot of opposition voiced by several people in the local newspapers here, and people on some of the talkback on radio stations. But Cabinet has the last say for everything."

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says the government also wants the space for this year's independence celebrations.