14 Sep 2002

American Ssamoan congressman to withdraw plurality voting bill

9:20 am on 14 September 2002

The American Samoan member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin has told the territory's House of Representatives that he will withdraw his bill to introduce plurality voting.

Faleomavaega says he had tried to introduce the bill because Samoans in the military were unable to cast ballots in run off elections, as polling was finished by the time they received their off-island ballots.

A Senate resolution had implied that the plurality voting bill would infinge on the Fono's lawmaking authority.

However Faleomavaega maintains the bill would not have changed local laws or taken any power away from the Fono.

The majority of House members say they supported the legislation but were unhappy with the way Faleomavaega introduced the plurality provision without seeking their opinion.

There were also concerns that the bill catered for military personnel and not overseas students.