SAMOA PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES BILL FOR WOMENS’ SEATS

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10 percent of Parliamentary positions to be reserved for women

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 24, 2012) – Legislation to guarantee seats for women in Samoa’s Parliament has been tabled.

The Constitution Amendment Bill 2012 guarantees women 10 percent of the seats in Parliament.

If the bill is passed, five of Parliament’s 49 seats would be guaranteed for women from the next general election.

[PIR editor’s note: In the British and Commonwealth government systems, when a bill is considered "tabled," the bill is currently being discussed by members of the governing body. In the United States, when a bill is "tabled," the bill has been put aside for discussion at a later time.]

If no woman is elected, five women candidates who get the highest number of votes would occupy the allocated seats in Parliament and will be called additional Members.

Debate of the bill is expected in the next session due on March the 6th.

But the Leader of the Opposition Palusalue Fa’apo has already spoken against the bill, saying it is point-scoring by the government.

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