Government to amend Electoral Act for stability

By Lance Polu

APIA: 2 July 2009 – The Government will consider further amendments to the Electoral Act following the courts decision yesterday that quashed the Speakers decision for nine MPs to face by-elections having formed a new political party. The amendments will close any loopholes in the law and disallow MPs switching sides and causing instability in parliament.

The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi told FetuFM last night that the heart of the issue is the MPs integrity and keeping their mandate given by the electorate. He said that the recent amendments to the Electoral Act were to ensure political stability, as the benefits currently received for Samoas economic development is based on political stability.

He said that in-fighting for leadership in 1982 and 1985 achieved nothing for the country and set the country on a backward step as MPs fought over leadership. Both the Prime Minister and the Speaker are reserving comment until they receive the Courts written decision.

Speaker Tolofuaivalelei Leiataua said he will comment on the issue in parliament when it convenes 17 August.

Meanwhile, the victorious Tautua Party MPs say they will discuss their next move whether to continue with their $10 million tala sue for damages against the Speaker. Former Cabinet Minister, Palusalue Faapo said they have undergone material and psychological stress and losses over the issue.

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