4 Mar 2016

American Samoa bill bids for more Manu'a seats

2:10 pm on 4 March 2016

A bill introduced in the American Samoa Senate aims to increase the number of Senators from 18 to 20.

According to the bill introduced by Manu'a senator Galeai Tuufuli, the two extra seats would be for senators for the Manu'a Islands.

At present Manu'a has two Senate seats, but under Galea'i's bill the Eastern group of islands will have four senators.

According to Galeai' the Manu'a districts have been at a disadvantage in the Senate for too many years and it's time that Senate representation in American Samoa mirror that of the rest of the United States.

For comparison purposes, Galea'i cited Saipan in the Northern Marianas with nine senators for three districts, Hawaii which elects senators from an equal amount of constituent districts, and California which elects one senator for each district.

Since increasing the number of Fono members involves an amendment to the constitution, once the Senate Joint resolution is approved by each chamber, it would be put to voters at the next general election