Samoa Council of Churches weighs in on political stand-off

Samoa's churches will attempt to bring about national unity today (Wednesday) as the country's political parties remain locked in a stoush over the swearing in of Opposition parliamentarians.

A statement released by the Pacific Conference of Churches said the Samoa Council of Churches will meet representatives of Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'aha and her predecessor, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, in an attempt to end the stand-off.

Police barricaded the parliament complex yesterday as 18 elected but unsworn Opposition parliamentarians including Tuila'epa were protesting their inability to enter Parliament.

The Speaker, Papali'i Li'o Masipa'u, banned the Opposition Human Rights Protection Party members because he said they refuse to recognise him as Speaker.

The government and opposition have been in a bitter tussle for power since elections in April this year.

"The Samoa Council of Churches has encouraged its members to pray for peace and understanding."

The statement said, "Sources close to the council said it was possible that church leaders would walk to parliament today to ask leaders to bring an end to their conflict."


Photo Parliament of Samoa  Caption: Parliament at its first sitting with the new Government, The Opposition parliamentarians are outside protesting their inabiity to enter Parliament