24 Jan 2003

Mixed race MP's in Samoa oppose abolition of their seats

11:55 am on 24 January 2003

The members of Samoa's parliament of mixed race say they are against a recommendation that their two seats in the 49-seat assembly be abolished.

Both said they would like to see the so-called Individual Voters' Roll die a natural death from dwindling numbers than to have it removed by legislation.

One of the MPs, Niko Lee Hang, says the recommendation is racist.

The other MP, Hans Joachim Keil, who is also Samoa's trade minister, says the issue is delicate.

He says 2300 voters remain on the roll and should the make-up of the roll force the abolition of the seat so be it.

The recommendation that the two seats be abolished was made by a commission of inquiry into electoral reform.