Speaker responds to Tuilaepa’s claims

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Speaker of the House Li’o Papalii Taeu Masipa’u has issued a public statement citing the false accusations against the execution of his role and responsibilities as the Speaker. 

In a statement issued Tuesday night, the speaker felt the need to “provide clear response against false accusations that was announced publicly, insulting that a Cabinet Minister is controlling and ordering how I carry my roles and responsibilities as the Speaker of the House.” 

The statement was issued after the leader of the Human Rights Protection Party Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi said that one of the Cabinet members was instructing the Speaker, from the floor, during a recent press with the media. 

He said since taking the role of Speakership “there was never a time where Cabinet or the Executive have interfered with how I carried out my duties as the Speaker.

“Since the new Government took office, it has restored the autonomy of Parliament from the Executive,” said the speaker. 

According to the Speaker, “this is the most apt practice whereby the Executive no longer interferes with how the Speaker conducts internal matters of Parliament. 

‘Since the official recognition of the XVII Parliament and the Government of the day, there has never been a time where a Minister of Cabinet instructs the Speaker. 

I wish to point at an instance where the first Appropriation Budget was proposed by the current administration noted therein was a specific allocation for the separation of the Legislative Assembly from the Executive.

“This is a testimony of the honorable intentions initiated by the Cabinet as o as to clearly identify the sovereignty of the Speaker of Parliament from the Executive. “To this day, the Speaker has no intention whatsoever to interfere with a Member’s right to speak and voice their opinions on any matter in Parliament and Committee procedures.” 

Furthermore, the Speaker has the authority to interrupt a member’s speech and issue a warning if such Member breaches provision of the Standing Orders which regulates the procedures of Parliament. 

“I have witnesses that some have used other technological means to compile a video clip on Facebook which conveys a false impression on how the Speaker conducts business within the chamber. 

“Although this video clip is not verified and untrue, nevertheless, the Leader of the Opposition who is currently suspended has used this to make false accusations against the execution of functions of the Speaker and one of the Ministers of Cabinet. “The act is deceptive by all means.”