1 Sep 2006

Samoa opposition leader says he's still running his party

1:56 pm on 1 September 2006

Samoa's opposition leader, Le Mamea Ropati, says he is still the elected leader of the Samoa Democratic United Party, despite the deputy leader claiming he has replaced him.

Speaking to reporters today, Le Mamea says the move by Asiata Sale'imoa Va'ai, was never resolved or discussed in a caucus meeting.

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia reports from Apia.

"Le Mamea says he was shocked to find out about the move by the deputy leader and four other first time MPs. Le Mamea has the support of three MPs including the only woman MP, Fuimaono Na'oia Te'i. Le Mamea says he will seek advice from his supporters in order to overcome the friction between him and Asiata. Meanwhile, Speaker of parliament, Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Lei'ataua says that under the Electoral act and parliament standing orders, Asiata must have eight or more of the party's MPs endorsing his leadership or he will not accept the changes."