5 Jan 2009

American Samoan senate seat in dispute

3:58 pm on 5 January 2009

The Senate seat for an American Samoa district has been left vacant because two candidates were chosen to represent the Manu'a district number two.

Lolo M. Moliga and Velega Savali have stepped aside until a decision for an appointment by the traditional leaders and orator of Manu'a district number two has been reached.

Our correspondent, Fili Sagapolutele, says this isn't the first time more than one candidate has been elected to represent a ward.

"In the year 2005, when two different traditional leaders showed up for only one seat. What happened in that point is that a special committee senate convened on that day before the swearing in got underway. They review all the recommendations and they decided, made the final decision. And that's the issue that Lolo was pushing for the Senate to make yesterday."

Fili Sagapolutele says governing district officials and lawmakers need to address the problem from happening in the future.