Reinstated HRPP MP’s will not receive backpay during suspension


The recently reinstated Human Rights Protection Party MP will not get backpay during their suspension from May to August.

Speaker of the House, Li’o Papalii Taeu Masipa’u confirmed this in an interview with Radio Polynesia on Tuesday. 

The Speaker said that he sent a letter to Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi and Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi acknowledging the court’s decision and inquiring of their parliamentary duties as to when they are able to return back Parliament sessions.

However, while the reinstatement is valid, “their salary is effective from the date of the court ruling,” said the Speaker.

In August, the Supreme Court voided the indefinite suspension of Tuilaepa and Leala from  May after they were found to be in violation of standing orders.

This follows a formal complaint by Deputy Prime Minister Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio lodged against the two senior MPs claiming they had brought Parliament into disrepute after their conviction by the Supreme Court on contempt of court charges.

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

The decision says the Assembly resolved to approve the Committee’s report with respect to liability and penalty.