23 Sep 2014

Opposing voices in American Samoa to override bill

3:42 pm on 23 September 2014

The editor-in-chief of American Samoa's daily newspaper says unelected senators should not be able to override the Governor's veto of referendum results.

In the first public expression of opposition to a bill giving the Fono more power, the Samoa News editor in chief, Rhonda Annesley, says members of the territory's House of Representatives are elected to office and accountable to voters, but senators are not.

She says despite the move to give greater self governance to the territory, senators are selected by traditional leaders, which is not democratic.

There will be a referendum on the bill on November the 4th, and Ms Annesley says she is voting 'No', as long as senators are not selected by popular vote.

The Governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, and other leaders, have urged people to support the bill.