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Special session of the Fono called

Rendering of the proposed new Fono Building. [SN file photo]

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has called a special session of the Fono to convene for ten-days to address two pressing issues to be submitted by the administration.

Under the local constitution, the governor can call a special session of the Fono and the call letter should include the agenda of issues for discussions by lawmakers.

Lolo returned to the territory last Friday night following several meetings in the US. And Samoa News understands that the governor met last Saturday with Fono leaders, in which he requested a special session — the first special session of the 35th Legislature — to address an amendment to local existing banking laws and consider a request from the Chief Justice Michael Kruse for confirmation of a new judge of the High Court.

In his call letter yesterday to Fono leaders, Lolo said the special session is to convene next Monday, Nov. 27 and ends on Friday, Dec. 8th. The two items on the governor’s agenda are:

•    Holding company and board provisions in the Territorial Bank of American Samoa (TBAS) statutes.

•    Nomination of Sen. Paepae Iosefa Fai’ai as an Associate Judge of the High Court.

“I am confident that you and your colleagues recognize the urgent need to consider these important matters,” Lolo wrote to the Fono leaders.

Special details of the two agenda items is expected to be transmitted to the Fono this week. Some lawmakers have already been informed about the special session and they told Samoa News that they’re hopeful that the two measures will be introduced in both Chambers early next week.

Under local statute, the Territorial Bancorp Holding Company, is the ASG entity which governs operations of the TBAS. The bank first opened its doors on Oct. 3, 2016, but is still working on securing a transit routing number from the Federal Reserve that will help boost its banking service.

For Paepae, being nominated as judge, he is a first term senator for Alataua County. He took office in January this year for a four-year term.

Local law states that there shall be no less than 5 associate judges of the High Court of American Samoa, who shall be appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of the Chief Justice and who shall be confirmed by the Senate only.