21 Jan 2008

Bill to alter criteria for matai titles reintroduced in American Samoa Senate

11:02 am on 21 January 2008

A bill removing one of the existing criteria for determining successors to a matai title, has been reintroduced in the American Samoa Senate.

Hereditary right is the main qualification for settling matai title disputes filed in the High Court.

But under Senate President Lolo M. Moliga's bill, this requirement would be removed

This would leave the three remaining criteria: the wish of the majority or plurality of family members; the forcefulness, character and personality of the persons under consideration for the title, and their knowledge of Samoan customs; and the value of the holder of the title to the family, village and country.

Lolo first introduced the bill last July but no action was taken.