17 Nov 2015

US Presidential candidates send reps to American Samoa

7:46 am on 17 November 2015

Representatives of United States Republican presidential candidates are descending on American Samoa after a rule change on the party's selection process.

Pago Pago, American Samoa.

Pago Pago, American Samoa. Photo: AFP

The chairman of the Republican Party of American Samoa, Utu Abe Malae, says American Samoa's nine member delegation is more important than ever this year because national party rules require candidates to have majority support from eight delegations in order to be nominated.

Since there are only 56 delegations, which include the 50 states, Washington DC and five territories, only a maximum of seven candidates can be nominated, which means at least eight of the current 15 candidates will eventually be shut out.

Last month, a representative of the Texas senator Ted Cruz was in Pago Pago and over the weekend, a representative for Dr Ben Carson arrived.

Utu says a representative of Donald Trump will be in Pago Pago the beginning of next month.

US citizens in the territories are not eligible to vote in national elections for the US president, but can cast their vote in local caucus or conventions to elect a party candidate.