Increase in seats on the cards for Samoa parliament

The Samoan parliament looks set to get a membership facelift which will likely see an increase in the number of parliamentarians.

The Newsline newspaper reported that Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi told his ruling Human Rights Protection Party late last year that government is already looking at legislation that will allow this to happen.

Tuilaepa said that population shift to urban areas was continuing and had made it necessary to consider increasing seats in the House to ensure suitable and equitable representation.

He said the call for more seats had been regularly mooted since he became a member of Parliament more than 30 years ago and it was a trend that had to be resolved.

"It's not a problem that happens in Samoa only, but the whole world," he said.

The prime minister said that as the population continued to grow government could not afford to sit by and watch.

And he also had a go at his party's MPs who had doubts about the proposal.

"Unfortunately, there are those who are short-sighted, self-centred and lack foundation. This government has brave leaders who are not afraid to do what must be done", he declared.

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