Tuilaepa cautioned current Gov only Parliament can dismiss the LTC President


Suspended Lepa Member of Parliament, Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi, says the latest reported decision by the Prime Minister to dismiss the President of the Land and Titles Court is unparalleled in Samoa’s democracy since it became independent.

The outgoing LTC President Letufuga Atilla Ropati’s last day in office was yesterday. Letufuga filed for an interim declaratory order with the Supreme Court, against his dismissal however the application was dismissed by the Chief Justice his Honour Satou Simativa Perese. 

The former Primer said only Parliament can dismiss the President of the Land and Titles Court and the Chief Justice on a two-thirds majority.

“The last Parliament had dealt already with this constitutional challenge and if it proceeds regardless, it means any Judge of the Court can be dismissed any time Fiame decides.

“And costly litigation against Government can occur, should parties impacted by decisions made by the current President decides to take the Government to Court.

“The independence of the Courts is now threatened by the Fa’atuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi party Government, and the FAST dominated Parliament, a clear abuse of power.

“The offer of the post of President if vacated to another senior Judge of the Supreme Court discloses another ugly strategy. 

“While FAST can persuade easily a voter to vote for FAST, through an offer of money and employment, a senior Judge has more reasons to consider carefully.” 

Tuilaepa said it’s a typical process used now by the PM and Cabinet of withholding the pay of those targeted for abuse to make them suffer and force them to surrender, which is evil.

“The manner of behaviour by Fiame in recent times is becoming extremely serious to the independence of the Court and the stability of Samoa’s democracy. It is a major worry by the Human Rights Protection Party.” 

On Wednesday the new President of the LTC, Lesatele Rapi Vaai will be sworn in to office, at the Head of State’s residence.