Chairman of FAST cited by Speaker in a “written warning”

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Speaker of the House, Li’o Papalii Taeu Masipa’u confirmed in Parliament on Tuesday, a complaint lodged against Cabinet Minister, Laauli Leautea Schmidt who is also the¬†Chairman of the FAST party.

The complaint was lodged by HRPP Member of Parliament, Faimalotoa Kika Stowers in May.

The Speaker did not outline in Parliament the gist of the complaint, however documents obtained by Radio Polynesia indicated the complaint by Faimalotoa against Laauli is over claims of “discussing” Parliamentary matters publicly, when they are before the Committee which violates sections 185 and 186 of the Standing Orders of Parliament.

The complaint to the Speaker was dated 17, May 2022.

Faimalotoa cited the Privilege and Ethics Committee was tasked to investigate a claim by Deputy Prime Minister Tuala Iosefo Ponofasio against the suspended leader of the HRPP, Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi and Secretary Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi.

However, on the 13 May 2022 on the EFKS TV, Laauli elaborated on the appointment of the Committee members; made derogatory remarks against Legislative Assembly staff; announced the Special Committee’s plans, and also spoke on the specific issues to be investigated by the Committee.

Faimalotoa also cited section187 (2) of the Standing Orders in her complaint which states “of it appears that any member commits contempt, the Assembly may refer the matter to the Privileges and Ethics Committee to investigate the matter; or refer the matter to the Prime Minister with a view ton instituting civil or criminal proceedings against such member.

During Parliament yesterday, the Speaker of the House said he received the written response from Laauli on this matter.

“In accordance with Standing Orders 178(2) I assessed the merits and arguments and whether it has violated the Standing Orders of Parliament and I concluded this matter does not warrant to be referred to the Privilege and Ethics Committee. “However the M.P. will be given a written warning and advice on this matter in going forward.

“And this is the end of this matter,” said the Speaker.