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Strike out request dismissed - Samoa's FAST motion before court next week

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and Fiame Naomi Mataafa
Source: RNZ Pacific

Apia, SAMOA — It will now be Wednesday next week before the Samoa Supreme Court considers the legality of the appointment of a 6th woman MP to parliament.

This comes as two parties, tied at 26 seats each, battle to become the new Samoa government.

The Supreme Court today dismissed a request from the Attorney General's office, which was seeking to have the motion from the FAST party struck out.

Political newcomers FAST had asserted that the Office of the Electoral Commissioner was wrong to make the appointment of a 6th woman.

The office had done this to ensure at least ten percent of the seats in the then 51-seat house were filled by women, after five had won their seats in the poll on April 9th.

There has been comment that the constitution, on this matter of ensuring representation of women, is vague and open to misinterpretation.

In the meantime the long time ruling party, HRPP, will continue in its caretaker role.

Our correspondent in Samoa, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, said the delay in getting a new government in place is not bothering the people — they just want it properly settled in court.

He said after the Attorney General's motion was struck out, the court asked for lawyers to present their relevant material by next Monday, with the judges to begin the substantive hearing on Wednesday.