28 Sep 2006

Samoa's opposition leader quits his party

1:27 pm on 28 September 2006

The leader of the opposition Samoa Democratic United Party, Le Mamea Ropati, has stepped down as leader and also resigned from the party.

Le Mamea is to become an Independent MP in parliament.

In announcing his decision, Le Mamea says he's unable to continue as a member of the caucus because the differences between him and the deputy leader, Asiata Sale'imoa Va'ai, could not be avoided.

He says to resign was the only solution to keep the party together.

Le Mamea says he told Asiata that one of them should step down in order to solve the turmoil surrounding the party.

According to Le Mamea, Asiata refused to step down.