Speaker addresses “mockery attempts towards Parliament”


Speaker of the House Li’o Papalii Taeau Masipa’u has cleared the air over statements made by a Member of Parliament, which is perceived to have misled the country as well as undermined the dignity of Parliament. 

In a statement, the Speaker said a Member of Parliament had made countless “mockery attempts towards Parliament” through various media outlets, which is disappointing as he is a Member of Parliament.

To clarify, PART V, Article 42 of the Constitution provides, “There shall be a Parliament of Samoa, which shall consist of the Head of State and the Legislative Assembly.” 

The Legislative Assembly consists of the Speaker as the Presiding Officer and elected members of the nation, not chosen, and statements which undermine the integrity of Parliament also affect His Highness the Ao o le Malo of the Independent State of Samoa and all elected Members of Parliament which includes the Member himself.

Parliament has five core constitutional functions; its most integral function is lawmaking. 

As the Speaker, it is pertinent that I clarify these matters for the information of the public on how the three arms operate/function; they do not intervene. Instead, the other arms institution monitors and scrutinizes the other to ensure checks and balances. 

It is his prime intention to uphold the dignity and integrity of Parliament and not use the Political Party saga to undermine and portray Parliament negatively, the statement reads.

The Speaker of Parliament is a constitutional appointment pursuant to Article 49.

The relationship between Parliament and Judiciary is clear under the Constitution of the Independent State of Samoa. As such, all decisions and rulings made by the Court are valued by Parliament, given that the Judiciary have its own duties to fulfil according to the Constitution and related legislation.

However, it is the role of the Legislative Assembly as lawmakers to respect the law. 

In his view, the Speaker says the claims and statements have grievously undermined the Parliament of Samoa, including the Head of State and elective representatives of each constituency.

He firmly believes that shedding light on this matter would avoid other opinions and assumptions that would further mislead the country as the notions and views of an individual will not be used as means to stray the opinions and beliefs of the country.