9 Apr 2003

New governor takes up post in American Samoa

4:38 am on 9 April 2003

The new governor of American Samoa, Togiola Tulafono has been sworn into office, following the unexpected death last month of Tauese Sunia.

The territorial chief justice, Michael Kruse, administered the oath of office while three church ministers gave prayers of blessings at the ceremony at the government's executive office building in Pago Pago.

Togiola, who was formerly the lieutenant governor, will continue as governor for the 20 months left of Tauese's term.

He paid tribute to Tauese at the ceremony.

"Tauese has left with us some giant footprints and giant shoes to fill. We will never be able to fill those shoes but the least we can do is march on with love and integrity and serve the people the way he has taught us to do."

Togiola says he will submit his nomination for lieutenant governor to the territorial legislature tomorrow for confirmation but he did not reveal who it would be.