26 Feb 2016

Samoa should loosen rules around eligibility - woman candidate

4:53 pm on 26 February 2016

The Samoa government should revisit rules around the eligibility of candidates, a woman candidate who has been cleared to run against the Parliamentary speaker in next week's general election says.

Samoa parliament offices.

Samoa parliament offices. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Faaulusau Rosa Duffy Stowers is one of the only two candidates nominated for Gagaifomauga number 3 constituency.

The speaker, La'auli Leuatea Polataivao, challenged her candidacy in court, testifying that his opponent was not qualified because she did not meet the three-year requirement relating to village service or monotaga.

But Faaulusau Rosa Duffy Stowers told the court she had fulfilled the requirement since 2003 when she was bestowed with her chiefly title in her village.

At the same time she says if the government wants to encourage more women to enter politics, it should consider loosening the eligibility rules.

"Everything is in the clear now and I'm ready to say 'bring it on' but there are jurisdictions there whereby you could be uneligible so I feel that the government should revisit the Act and look at ways to preserve the women, not to be touched in areas like this."