HRPP will not be silenced, says suspended MP Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi


The Human Rights Protection Party has not taken lightly the decision by Parliament to replace their leader within Parliament as per new standing order policies that went into effect last week. 

According to the new standing orders, once the Leader of the Opposition is suspended from the Legislative Assembly for more than 6 months, the Parliament will officially declare the Deputy Leader of the Opposition Party as the Leader to lead the Opposition in Parliament for the period of that suspension. 

This was part of the Standing Orders, Electoral, Petitions and Constitutional Offices Committee recommendations. 

Parliament officially recognizes the Deputy Leader of the Opposition to lead the Opposition in Parliament, will be afforded the same benefits and entitlements as the Leader of the Opposition.

 HRPP leader Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi and Party Secretary Leailailepule Rimoni Aiafi have been suspended for two years without pay, as a result of contempt of Parliament following their contempt of court. 

During a press conference last week with the media Leala said they will not be silenced.

The two suspended MP’s continues to hold press conferences, submit letters to the editor, countering issues and call out the government and they believe that is their role as opposition members. 

In Parliament last week, when the Standing orders were discussed, HRPP Deputy leader Fonotoe Lauofo Pierre, who is also a member of the Standing Orders, Electoral, Petitions and Constitutional Offices Committee stated that he did not sign the report, citing that he did not agree with the report. 

Senior HRPP member, Lautasfi Selafi Purcell, said HRPP should have been given the opportunity to choose whether to change their leader.

He further questioned why the Legislative Assembly can extend the penalty against their leader which contradicts his constitutional rights and pointed to the court ruling that the person should be present in Parliament to address allegations against them.