27 Apr 2009

Samoa PM criticises Faleomavagea's Fiji comments

8:19 am on 27 April 2009

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has criticised comments made about the Fiji situation by the American Samoan member of the US Congress Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin.

Faleomavagea accused Australia and New Zealand have engaging in heavy-handed tactics in pushing democracy in Fiji while deficiencies in Fiji's electoral process have not been resolved.

Tuilaepa says Faleomavaega has been in the US Congress for a long time and is therefore far removed from the reality of Pacific politics.

The Samoan PM says Faleomavaega completely ignores the fact that the regime in Fiji is a military dictatorship.

He says he finds it ironic and hypocritical that the Congressman wants to deny the people of Fiji the same voting rights exercised by his constituents in American Samoa which have brought him to office time and time again.