CJ set hearing on the swearing in of HRPP Women MP’s on Thursday


The hearing challenging the Speaker’s Authority to defer the swearing in of Aliimalemanu Alofa Tuuau and Fagasealii Sapoa Feagia’i, has been scheduled on Thursday.

The HRPP candidates garnered their seats upon the activation of the 10 percent for women Members of Parliament as per the Constitution, which was opposed by the Speaker of the House Li’o Papalii Taeu Masipa’u.

There were two matters that was presided over by Chief Justice his Honour Satiu Simativa Perese this morning.

Firstly the application against the Speaker for differing the swearing in and the second is the application filed by veteran lawyer and former Attorney General, Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu on behalf of her client, To’omata Nora Leota, who is questioning the appointment by the former Electoral Commissioner of Aliimalemanu and Fagaesealii under the 10 percent for women MP’s.

His Honour said swearing in matter should be dealt with promptly and is now scheduled for hearing on Thursday at 10am.

Leilani Tamati representing the Speaker stated they will file an amendment to the grounds of their application to await the court’s decision on the ruling in the application filed by To’omata.

Adding there is “uncertainty as there are four different versions being proposed in that application, that could affect the qualifications of the two applicants,

“The Speaker’s position is to be absolutely certain” said Tamati.

In relation to the second matter, his Honour says the swearing in application shouldbe dealt with first and once that resolved they can address the technical side whether or not the test under the constitution should apply in relation to the appointment of the additional Women MP’s.

Taulapapa pointed out in court that another woman will be joining the application filed by To’omata.

The Chief Justice noted there is enough time to file an application to be a party to the application by To’omata.