25 May 2007

Samoan call to consider only paramount chief as head of state

1:38 pm on 25 May 2007

There has been a call for Samoans to respect Tama-aiga or paramount chiefs to be chosen as the next head of state.

The parliamentary speaker, Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Lei'ataua, made the comment to the Samoa Observer as Samoa is set to appoint a successor to Malietoa Tanumafili II who died two weeks ago.

Tolofuaivalelei says the constitution does not specifically identify the Tama-aiga to be the only possible successors to the top position.

But he says there is a feeling among all Samoans that the holders of the office should be a Tama-aiga.

The 49 members of parliament have until the middle of June to nominate candidates for the position.