AMERICAN SAMOAN’S U.S. CONGRESSMAN FALEOMAVAEGA TO WITHDRAW PLURALITY VOTING BILL

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AMERICAN SAMOAN’S U.S. CONGRESSMAN FALEOMAVAEGA TO WITHDRAW PLURALITY VOTING BILL

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (September 14, 2002 – Radio New Zealand International)---The American Samoa member of the U.S. Congress, Eni F. H. Faleomavaega, has told the territory’s House of Representatives that he will withdraw his bill to introduce plurality voting.

Faleomavaega said he had tried to introduce the bill because Samoans in the military were unable to cast ballots in runoff elections, as polling was finished by the time they received their off-island ballots.

A Senate resolution had implied that the plurality voting bill would infringe on the Fono’s lawmaking authority.

However, Faleomavaega maintains the bill would not have changed local laws or taken any power away from the Fono.

The majority of House members say they supported the legislation but were unhappy with the way Faleomavaega introduced the plurality provision without seeking their opinion.

There were also concerns that the bill catered to military personnel but not overseas students.

For additional reports from Radio New Zealand International, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio New Zealand International.

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