29 Apr 2019

Banishments still handed out in Samoa's village council system

From , 5:05 am on 29 April 2019

A senior lecturer in politics and international relations believes the majority of Samoans are happy with the current Village Council system, despite it wielding a lot of power.

A candidate in the recent by-election for the vacant Fa'asaleleaga No 2 seat has been banished from his village for running.

Lema'i Faioso Sione put himself forward as a candidate for the recently formed Samoa First Political Party.

He was initially fined 5,000 tala or $US1,893 for defying a village matai council decision to support a different candidate.

The council has decided to banish him from his village after he failed to pay the fine.

Dr Iati Iati, a senior lecturer at the centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University told Bridget Tunnicliffe it's not uncommon and it still seems to be widely accepted.

Traditional sua presentation by the village of Malie

Traditional sua presentation by the village of Malie Photo: RNZ Pacific /Tipi Autagavaia