28 Apr 2008

Independent MPs in Samoa to form a new political party

5:26 am on 28 April 2008

Twelve independent MPs in Samoa have formed a new political party in order to have a strong opposition in Parliament.

The group includes two MPs who left the ruling HRPP party.

The former opposition leader, Le Mamea Ropati, who had resigned from the leadership of the opposition Samoa Democratic United Party last year is not joining the new party.

The new grouping has yet to appoint a leader and decided on a party name.

The twelve MPs met over the week-end to appoint an interim administration team.

Political sources say the new party could be led by the former Minister of Agriculture under a previous HRPP government, Va'ai Mafasolia Papu Va'ai, who is the eldest brother of Asiata Sale'imoa Va'ai, the leader of the Samoa Democratic United Party, which is no longer recognized in parliament.

Two other independent MPs, from the same family, Motuopua'a Aisoli Va'ai, and Levaopolo Talatonu Va'ai, are also members of the newly formed party.

The chairman of the new interim administration team and MP for Faleata west constituency, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, says the ultimate goal is to become the next government in the 2011 general election