HRPP leader “time to move forward”


The leader of the Human Rights Protection Party, Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi said it is time to move forward as there are far more important issues in the FAST and HRPP should be focusing on rather than the rivalries between the political parties, this is for the betterment of the people. 

He said let this be a new day and that the decision by Parliament to suspend him and Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi led to newfound thinking that it is time to move forward. 

Tuilaepa made the comments during a live conference from the HRPP headquarters in Petesa after the decision by the Supreme Court voiding their indefinite suspension.

The decision rendered yesterday by Chief Justice, his Honours Satiu Simativa Perese, Senior Justice Vui Clarence Nelson and Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren was a result of the civil claim filed by Members of the HRPP, Tuilaepa and Leala over their indefinite suspension by the Speaker of the House in May. 

According to the court ruling, Parliament “may wish to revisit the penalty aspect, consistently with the Constitution, but that is entirely a matter for that body. 

However, as at the date of this decision, there is no lawful impediment in the way of the Applicants resuming their duties as members.” 

The court found the disciplinary rules and practice of Parliament do not give the persons who are the subject of adverse recommendations by the Privileges and Ethics Committee, the opportunity to be heard before a penalty is rendered by the Assembly. 

“This is a failure which breaches a fundamental plank of the rules of fairness that are secured in Article 9(1) of the Constitution – the right to be heard.”  

“The court also considered the treatment of both of the Applicant’s rights to natural justice with respect to penalty were inconsistent with their rights preserved under Article 9(1) of the Constitution. 

“This case concerns the legitimacy of the suspension and whether the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to interfere with the Assembly’s decision. 

“These issues raise the question of the relationship between the Court and the Assembly and the separation of powers between the Legislative and Judicial branches of the State. It is clearly a matter of sensitivity and importance.” 

The April 2021 General Election in Samoa produced a result few if any could have confidently predicted, says the court ruling.

“History has now recorded the regrettably many ugly scenes and events that followed. Harsh words were spoken, which included unfounded accusations and unprecedented attacks directed by the First and Second Applicant members of the Assembly of Samoa and their supporters at the Judiciary. 

“These attacks became the subject of contempt of Court proceedings in the Supreme Court, alleging amongst other things that the statements scandalised the Court and the members of the Judiciary, and thereby undermined the rule of Law in Samoa.” 

Tuilaepa said his special program that it is time for their political party to lend a hand to assist the ruling government for the betterment of the people. He thanked Samoa for their support and continued prayers.