14 Feb 2003

American Samoa senator wants governor to also be chief

4:35 pm on 14 February 2003

An American Samoan Senator, Matautia Tuiafono, says he wants candidates for the governor's race to hold registered chiefly titles.

Currently to qualify for governor or lieutenant, a candidate has to be a US citizen or national, a resident of American Samoa for 5 years before the election and be 35 or older.

Senator Matautia has introduced a bill in the Senate that states that a candidate for the office of governor has to be a registered matai.

The senator says the measure would ensure that only an American Samoa-born candidate, living the Samoan way through family and cultural structures, would reach the top post.