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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Politics in Samoa

Last year around September the Prime Minister of Samoa announced to the country that come July 2008 Samoa will be driving on the left side of the road and Right Hand Drive cars will be the car of choice. However because there are already left hand drive cars at the moment he went on to say that both cars can drive on the road but no more left hand drive cars will be allowed in the country. To clarify, at the moment Samoans drive on the side of the world like most of the world do but now the PM wants the country to switch to the side that few countries like the UK, NZ and Australia drive on. The reasons given were that NZ and Australia are close by and by allowing cars from there the Samoan villagers will then be able to get cars from their relatives who live in NZ and Australia! That's about all the explanation he gave to the people.
In December more than 12 thousand marched petitioning against the road switch and they had a presented a petition with more than 30,000 names against the switch. Just this week the committee that the government had assigned to look at the petitions have rejected the petitions as invalid. Moreover members of the PASS(People against Switching Sides) have sued the government this week for negligence and other reasons due to the proposed switch.
More and more villages are getting their people to sign their own petitions and handing it over to the government. This road switch is dividing the country but it is also seeing people stand up against the government. Every week a village announces their going against the switch proposed by the government.
So it seems that by the end of the year we will see lots of confused drivers on Samoan roads. Oh and when the left hand drive buses stop to let off kids, essentially the kids will be getting off on the middle of the road because the configuration of the bus is for the other side!!! So unnecessary deaths may be witnessed on the roads in Samoa!!!

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