Samoa Opposition MPs reinstated to Parliament

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

The suspended Samoa opposition leader and his party secretary have been reinstated to Parliament.

Samoa’s Opposition Human Rights Protection Party leader, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, and party secretary, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, have been told to resume their parliamentary committee duties.

Tuilaepa confirmed on Newsline Samoa they received the advice by letter from Speaker, Papali’i Ta’eu Masipa’u, at the end of last week.

The former Prime Minister said he had thanked the Speaker for his acceptance of the “strong court decision.”

He also acknowledged that the court decision may yet have further problems for them.

“The decision has tails but animals with tails can easily be cut off,” he said.

Tuilaepa said the Speaker had indicated the House Privileges Committee will be resumed to address the matter of penalties.

He said he did not understand the motive but their advice to the Speaker and to the Committee is that they will not let issues slide when it comes to the freedom of MPs to express themselves or perform their duties.

“If it’s issues regarding the freedom of the Members of Parliament to express themselves or perform their duties, we will not just sit and do nothing.”

Parliament is set to resume on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.

The duo had been suspended in May of this year by the Speaker for violating standing orders.

In August, the Samoa Supreme Court declared the Assembly motion, purporting to suspend two leading MPs, is void.

The Court ruled on Tuesday in favour of Tuilaepa and Lealailepule, who had sought to overturn their indefinite suspension from the House.