2 Apr 2004

Samoa opposition disappointed with speaker comment

3:24 pm on 2 April 2004

Samoa's opposition leader, Le Mamea Ropati, has expressed disappointment in the Speaker of the House for calling opposition members liars for changing parties before the next elections.

The Speaker Toleafoa Fa'afisi was commenting on the merging of the main opposition, the Samoa National Development Party and the Samoa United Independents Party last year.

The two parties formed the new Samoa Democratic United Party, which controls 16 of the 49 seats in Parliament, while the ruling Human Rights Protection Party has 31 seats.

Le Mamea Ropati says there is nothing in the electoral act on the registration of political parties that has been breached.

Toleafoa Fa'afisi says changing parties during a parliamentary term was misleading constituencies, who had voted for MP's under a different banner.

But Le Mamea Ropati says merging parties created a stronger opposition through the sharing of resources.