21 Mar 2007

Samoa by-election candidate refuses to withdraw his candidacy

8:30 am on 21 March 2007

The chief executive officer of Samoa's Association of Sports and National Olympic committee and former Manu Samoa rugby player, Aveau Niko Palamo, has refused to heed a call from a high ranking orator of his village of Vaimoso, to withdraw his candidacy from the Faleata east by-election.

Aveau says he won't withdraw despite a threat by several matais of his village to punish him if he does not respect the one candidate decision.

The CEO insists that he should be the one to contest the parliamentary seat held by the late MP, Manuleleua Lalagofa'atasi, and not the former opposition MP already endorsed in a meeting held in his village recently.

A village matai who did not want to be named said the village council will banish the CEO and his family if he continues to challenge the one candidate decision.