Samoa court reserves decision in seat challenge

Samoa's Court of Appeal has reserved its decision on one of the most anticipated matters, crucial to settling the outcome of the country's April elections.

Yesterday, the court heard the appeal from the Electoral Commissioner and HRPP candidate Aliimalemanu Alofa Tuuau on Article 44 of the Constitution that requires an additional women's seat if elected women do not make up 10 percent of parliament.

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that the five elected women members met the requirements but the appellants contend there should be a sixth seat to meet the required 10 percent.

That ruling gave the FAST party a majority.

Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration chief executive Moliei Simi Va'ai said a written decision on the appeal would be released in a timely manner.

The panel which heard the appeal was chaired by Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese with Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren and Justice Fepulea'I Ameperosa Roma.

Earlier in the day, the court dismissed a motion by the appellants to recuse CJ Perese and to be replaced by an overseas judge.


Photo RNZ Pacific