Tuilaepa and Leala suspended for 24 months


Parliament today voted to uphold the Privileges and Ethics Committee recommendations to suspend senior HRPP members for 24 months. 

The decision was rendered in a secret ballot vote of 29 MPs supporting the recommendation by the Committee while 19 voted against it. 

Speaker of the House Li’o Papalii Taeu Masipa’u made the announcement at the conclusion of Parliament this evening. 

“The decision is effective immediately as per standing orders,” said the Speaker of the House. HRPP leader Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi and party secretary Lealailepule RimoniAiafi were asked to leave the Parliament. 

In May they were suspended indefinitely in relation to their conviction on contempt of court charges.

However Tuilaepa and Lealailepule challenged their suspension legally and the court ruled in their favour citing that Parliament’s disciplinary rules and practice do not give the persons who are the subject of adverse recommendations by the Privileges and Ethics Committee, the opportunity to be heard as to penalty before 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. 

They were reinstated but were informed of the Committee’s new recommendations which was upheld this evening.

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