5 Aug 2002

New MP in Samoa supports consensus selection over vote casting

11:11 am on 5 August 2002

The new MP for the Samoan constituency of Faleata East says he believes the consensus way of electing parliamentarians is a more peaceful method than casting ballots.

Lepou Petelo the Second was the only candidate nominated for the job.

Matai or chiefs of his village had decided that he would replace a fellow villager who had become a member of the Council of Deputies.

The other villages in the constituency, Vaimoso, Vaigaga, had agreed with Lepea village that they return to picking their MPs through consensus reached amongst Matai of the constituency.

This means the villages take turns at choosing the MP.

Critics of the system say the method by-passes universal suffrage because the consensus system means only Matai are involved in the selection.