SAMOA TAUTUA PARTY OPPOSES WOMEN'S SEATS BILL

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Party says public’s view, matai requirements must be looked into

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 6, 2012) – The Tautua Samoa opposition party is strongly opposed to the Samoa government’s move to amend the constitution to allow for parliamentary seats for women.

The government wants to establish five seats for women, but Tautua Samoa says the public’s views on the issue should have been sought through a referendum.

The opposition leader, Palusalue Fa’apo II, says the government should first fix the problem that some villages do not allow women to hold a matai title, which is a must for any parliamentary candidate.

He says the government is going beyond its powers in making the amendments, which are to meet the United Nation’s development goals.

Palusalue Fa’apo II, says the rights of women in Samoa to run for parliamentary seats are already allowed for in the constitution.

He says the opposition fully supports an increase in the number of women in parliament, but he says it’s the attitude of people towards supporting women in elections that needs to be changed.

The constitutional amendments are to be debated in the next month’s session.

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