Samoa Court to rule if three resigned MPs need to go back to by-elections

Samoa Supreme Court
Samoa Supreme Court

The three former Samoa Opposition MPs, who resigned from Human Rights Political Party (HRPP) last month, will go to court arguing the unconstitutionality of the 2019 Electoral Amendment Act that now stops them from becoming Independent MPs.

Former Cabinet Minister, Tuuu Anasii Leota of Siumu and Ale Vena Ale of Faleata 4 resigned on November 04 claiming breach of their constitutional and human rights by the Electoral Act which now stops them from making choices they see as best for the benefit of their constituents.

The third MP to resign was Mau’u Siaosi Pu’epu’emai, one of the youngest of the Opposition MPs who said his decision was based on the advice of his constituents.

The three MPs had been advised by the Speaker that they have been charged under the Electoral Act and the scenario is for them to go back to their constituencies for by elections. All three denied the charges in Parliament this morning.

Siumu MP, Tuuu Anasii Leota was critical of his former Leader as individually designing the law so he can single-handedly control the members of the party. An accusation that did not sit well with HRPP Deputy Leader, Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo who challenged the accuracy of accusation.

Ale Vena Ale said his position against the Electoral Act as a breach of basic human rights and being unconstitutional is well known in his speeches in Parliament and again highlighted in his resignation letter which was well circulated on social media.

Again voicing his opposition and denial of the charges against him, he emphasised he could not remain as a member of a party whose leader has been convicted of contempt of court and contempt of parliament.

Mauu Siaosi Puepuemai did not repeat his reasons for resigning but called on the support of his constituents that he is challenging the charges against him and wished everyone a peaceful and happy Christmas.

The Deputy Speaker, Auapaau Muipola Aloitafua then moved a motion for the matter to be transferred to the Supreme Court for its decision.

The three MPs resigned from HRPP, as its leader and former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and Party Secretary Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi are serving two years’ suspension since May this year after being convicted of contempt of court and contempt of parliament. Tuilaepa had been adamant to stay as leader of the Party.

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