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Chamber reluctantly cancels gubernatorial public forum

fili@samoanews.com

The Chamber of Commerce sponsored gubernatorial forum scheduled for next week at the Governor Rex Lee Auditorium has been cancelled due to among other things, scheduling of a common date suitable for all candidates.

The Chamber had set the forum for Sept. 27, and it has been made public for several weeks now. The Chamber’s executive board has reminded members of the importance of hearing from candidates in this year’s general election, when a new administration will be voted into office.

However, Chamber chairman David Robinson said the board opted to cancel the town hall style public forum, in which the public and private sector had been invited to attend and ask questions. 

“We have found it impossible for all the candidates to arrange their schedules with a common date which suits all of them. This coupled with the present uncertainty regarding some of the candidates eligibility as a result of a legal challenge, we have reluctantly decided to cancel the event,” said Robinson yesterday. 

The legal challenge referred to by Robinson is the petition filed by the gubernatorial team of candidate for governor, Save Liuato Tuitele and candidate for lieutenant governor Sandra King Young, challenging the eligibility of four gubernatorial candidates.

The petition is set to be heard at 10 a.m today by the Appellate Division of the High Court. All parties were to file their briefs in the case at the close of business yesterday.

Robinson said the Chamber board is aware that there were a number of candidates who were really looking forward to presenting their platforms and plans for a new administration at the forum.

“...and we apologize for any inconvenience caused by our decision leading to the cancellation. The Board would like to thank all the people who were involved and the organizing committee for the work that they have put in to date, to organize the event. It is a pity it has to end this way,” said Robinson.

Meanwhile, the gubernatorial forum on disability issues — from 9 a.m. to 12noon — and family violence issues from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. both for tomorrow, is still set for tomorrow and there were no changes as of early yesterday afternoon.

This forum is hosted by the territory's Multi-Disciplinary-Team (MDT) and the objective of the forum is for the gubernatorial candidates to provide their point of view pertaining to sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence, the Sex Offender Registration Notification Act (SORNA) and statutory rape.



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