Former HRPP MP’s reject contempt charges


Parliament convened this morning where the Speaker of the House Li’o Papalii Taeu Masipa’u officially confirmed the contempt of Parliament charges against Tuu’u Anasi’i Leota, Ale Vena Ale, and Mau’u Siaosi Pu’epu’emai following their resignation from Human Rights Protection Party. 

The MP’s charges were cited under Standing Orders and today’s session afforded them the opportunity to enter their pleas to the contempt charges. 

Tu’uu questioned the charge against him, citing that his right to be an independent Member of Parliament has been violated within the HRPP which is currently run by one man. 

Deputy Leader of the HRPP Fonotoe Pierre Meredith intervened and cautioned Tu’uu on his comments towards someone who is not present in Parliament to defend himself.  He told Tu’uu not to comment on matters pertaining to the HRPP but rather speak directly to his constituency.  

The discussion heated when Tuu’u accused the Deputy Leader of not doing his duty by giving the relevant advice to the HRPP leader, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi. 

The Speaker then warned the Members to be cautious otherwise he will be forced to take action granted under his authority as Speaker.

Tuu’u then rejected the charges against him. 

Ale and Mau’u also took the floor and rejected the charges. Deputy Speaker of the House, Auapa’au Mulipola Aloitafua motioned to refer this matter to court for its final decision on whether by-elections are warranted. 

In other Parliament news Deputy Speaker of the House, today made another motion to amend the standing orders to the Legislative Assembly. 

Standing Orders are rules and policies that guide the work of Parliamentarians. 

According to Auapa’au the proposed amendment’s goal is to protect the integrity of Parliament. 

Adding this will put a stop to actions by suspended Member of Parliament that continues to interfere with the Speaker’s daily work, as well as Legislative processes and Parliament committees. 

He did not identify which MP he was referring to, but to date two Senior MPs have been suspended, the leader of the Human Rights Protection Party Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi and Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi. 

Tuilaepa and Leala were suspended for 24 months for contempt of Parliament, in relation to their conviction on contempt of court charges. 

According to Auapa’au the amendments will put a stop to the suspended MP’s that continues to write to the Speaker questioning works by the respective Parliament committees. 

Also tabled before Parliament was more than 30 annual reports across Government Ministries and Public Enterprises, some for the financial year 2018-2019/ 2019-2020/2020-2021.