19 Dec 2008

Legality of new Samoan political party to be tested

2:37 pm on 19 December 2008

The speaker of Samoa's parliament is seeking legal advice over the formation of a new political party which is made up of 11 independent MPs.

Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Lei'ataua says he will get the view of the Attorney General's office on whether the Tautua Samoa political party's formation is legal.

Tolofuaivalelei has told a local television the launching has violated the requirements of forming any political party under the Electoral Act by MPs currently serving a parliamentary term.

Government sources say the Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi, is also seeking legal advice with the view of calling his party's caucus

meeting to discuss the matter.

Parliament has been adjourned for Christmas and New Year's holidays and will resume in mid January when the prime minister is reportedly

planning to pass a motion against the new party.