19 Dec 2006

Samoa Democratic United Party seeks injunction on opposition status

3:51 pm on 19 December 2006

The leader of Samoa's Democratic United party, Asiata Saleimoa Va'ai, is seeking an injunction from the Supreme Court to force the government to recognise the SDUP as a party and as the opposition in parliament.

Using parliamentary standing orders, Asiata says a ruling from the Speaker that the SDUP is not the opposition because it doesn't have eight MPs, is unconstitutional.

He also says it's not up to the Speaker to decide the numbers in the SDUP because the party itself has never formally accepted the departure of two MPs earlier this year.

Asiata says the Supreme Court is expected to hear the party's application for an injunction tomorrow.

"This is just an interim measure we're going for right now but we'll have to have a substantive hearing later whether the interim injunction is granted or not. The ultimate objective of that is to declare the standing order as being unconstitutional and invalid. And, if that's the case, then it has to go."

Asiata Saleimoa Va'ai, the leader of Samoa's Democratic United Party.