SAMOA'S OPPOSITION WANTS AMERICAN SAMOA-TYPE GOVERNMENT

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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (February 26, 1999 - Samoa News)--Samoa's Opposition Party is looking at reforming the country's political system to reflect American Samoa's system of "checks and balances," mainly as it relates to the separation of powers between the Legislature and the Executive Branch.

Additionally, the Opposition Party wants to change the set-up of Samoa's Parliament so there are two-chambers, such as in American Samoa's Legislature, where there is the House of Representatives (lower chamber) and the Senate (upper chamber).

To review and observe American Samoa's system, Parliament member Su'a Mefi and Leota Tufele of the Samoa National Democratic Party spent two days in American Samoa recently in a fact-finding mission, meeting with House Speaker Aina Saoluaga T. Nua and listening to debates in both chambers of the Fono.

Although the two members of Parliament were not able to speak directly to the media, Speaker Aina later said the visit was to see how a two-chamber legislature, or in Samoa's case, the Parliament, can be set-up.

"What the members of Parliament are more interested in is our government's checks and balances system, where lawmakers check on each other. The legislature checks on the administration and vice versa," Speaker Aina explained yesterday.

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

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