20 Feb 2003

Suspended American Samoan representative seeks reinstatement

5:26 pm on 20 February 2003

A suspended member of the American Samoan House of Representatives has lodged a complaint against the speaker over his suspension from the House for his comments and interruption of proceedings.

The speaker, Matagi Ray McMoore, has been given 20 days to the complaint filed by Muavaefaatasi Ae Ae junior who claims his suspension is unconstitutional because it violates his rights to free speech.

Last week, Muavaefaatasi was banned from the legislature without pay for the current session of parliament, which means until early July.

All members of the House Rules Committee agreed that Muavaefaatasi should be taught a lesson for his outbursts.

One representataive, Tagaloa Letuli, said Muavaefaatasi's behaviour has made the House appear as if it was a boxing ring.

But one of Muavaefaatasi's associates, Sua Schuster, said he should not be punished because his bad temper was the result of serving in the Persian Gulf.