19 Apr 2006

Samoa government decides today whether to accept membership applications from two independents

10:45 am on 19 April 2006

Samoa's ruling Human Rights Protection Party is to decide today whether or not to accept applications by two Independent candidates to join them.

The independents are Va'ai Mafasolia Papu Vaepule and Toluono Feti Toluono.

They represent Vaisigano No1 and Palauli respectively.

The HRPP has already accepted five other independent candidates.

HRPP whip Mulitalo Seali'imalietoa told the Samoa Observer that before the elections the five had vowed to join their party if they won.

Mulitalo said the candidates could not run under the HRPP banner because the incumbent MPs who belonged to the party had not wanted them to.

According to party policy, the incumbent has the right to reject any rival who wanted to run under HRPP.

Va'ai and Toluono, however, were among 15 candidates who grouped under a Memorandum of Understanding to fight the elections as true Independents.