NEW MOVE IN AMERICAN SAMOA TO EXPEL SENATOR

PAGOPAGO, American Samoa (RNZI, Jan. 30) - The American Samoa Senate has passed a motion to hold an expulsion hearing for Senator Faamausili Pola.

By a vote of 10 to 6 the Senate approved a resolution that sets in motion the hearing for Sen. Faamausili Pola.

The Senate expelled Faamausili last year after a group of chiefs from his Manu’a district claimed that he was not elected according to Samoan tradition.

The vote came after a hearing of the Committee of the Whole in which nearly all of the 16 Senators present took the floor to express an opinion.

Opponents urged that the Senate not take a vote on the measure, which they considered to be an "after the fact" approach by the Senate to satisfy the court's ruling in the Faamausili vs Senate case.

Manu'a Senator, Misaalefua Hudson asked the Senate to proceed with caution on the measure and not heed to objections from a small group of chiefs to Faamausili's election.

Senators who spoke in support of the resolution said that a delegation from Ta'u district has visited villages on Tutuila informing them about chiefs of Ta'u who have been banished from the village.

The banished chiefs included Faamausili.

Tauanuu, a former judge said the Senate has shown respect and honor to Faamausili by inviting him to resolve the difference with his village but Faamausili has returned that respect by taking the chosen leaders of the territory to court.

Meanwhile, the Senate is waiting for an appeals court ruling on its application to overturn a lower courts order to reinstate Faamausili.

January 30, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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