A serious Constitutional crisis in our country

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Dear Editor,

When we have people mentioned in the Constitution to establish Acts and set up rules of laws and procedures according to the truth in the Constitution but they have something else in mind completely different from the truth in the Constitution to form a new basis of our rules of law and a new constitution of our country, then that means, we are dealing with a major problem with our Constitution in our Parliament and our government.

We rely on those people to set up rules of laws for Justice and Court to judge people, to accuse, to prosecute, to arrest and put people to prison. And most importantly, we rely on those people for our protection against any foreign threats. Before moving on any further, let me clarify what I just said very clearly.

This is not about people that we rely on because they know what they should be doing but didn’t do it. So this is not about them. This is about whether our Constitution is going to be followed and respected. 

To rephrase that statement in other words, this is about whether or not our country is protected under the Constitution because we have already seen it all; everything about our Constitution is falling apart. Our law makers who are also our law enforcement, they created our laws based on their own political views instead of our Constitution. Everybody seems to be negotiated with themselves then revealing just the finishing product to us.  

The people of our country that I am talking about here according to the Constitution are the Prime Minister, Ministers of Cabinet and Members of Parliament in the H.R.P.P government. The new basis of our rules of law and the new constitution of our country that I am referring to is the Cabinet Handbook 2011.

The details in the Cabinet Handbook 2011 can prove us the truth about something else that is totally different from the “Constitution of the Independent State of Samoa.” Also, it can give us an idea of the type of system of administration our government was under beyond 2011. 

The Cabinet Handbook 2011 outlines the process about how the Cabinet prepares bills to be proposed in Parliament for our rules of law. It is a requirement authorized under the Constitution for Cabinet procedures. It is not an original part of the Constitution but it is still a ray of the Constitution.

In other words, the Cabinet Handbook 2011 was not created by framers of the Constitution or the Constitutional Convention. It was created by a political government led by Prime Minister Tuilaepa and other representatives of the H.R.P.P in the Cabinet back in 2011. 

A leader of a led political government who actually follows footsteps of the “Founding Fathers” by making Constitutional policies and procedures for Cabinet is the guardian of the Constitution and a peace keeper. That kind of leader is worthy to be called as great leader.

But a leader of a led political government who intentionally ignores footsteps of the “Founding Fathers” by making of political policies and procedures for Cabinet because of political reasons is nobody else but a trouble maker. That kind of leader is commendable to be labeled as a dictator. 

A ‘dictator’ is my own discovery about the Prime Minister’s leadership. The Cabinet Handbook 2011 together with Acts and Bills created from that handbook is just a lid of the whole bottle about the Prime Minister’s inappropriate behaviors that I have already explained in most of my letters in the past. So I believe, I did provide enough reasons to make the claim that our Prime Minister deserves his new name. He earns it himself from his inappropriate behaviors towards our Constitution and our country. 

Our country would never be at this very sad situation today if he was keeping his leadership according to our Constitution. But because of the fact that he did turn his back against our Constitution, that means, he has a different kind of leadership based on his own belief.

That is the main reason why our country right now has been facing a serious crisis about our Constitution which affects God’s Sovereignty, Christianity, Church and Church Ministers, our national sovereignty, our customary lands, our Samoan customs and traditions, our democracy, our human rights and our freedom.    

In my own view, the creation of laws from something else that is totally different from the truth in the Constitution is an intentional crime. It should be a crime and people committing crimes of that kind within our Parliament have the same inappropriate behaviors of conspiring, falsifying of history and our Constitution, misrepresenting the law, misleading members of Parliament and the people of our country during Parliament proceedings, defending of untruths and wrongdoings and the obstruction of justice.

So the bottom line of what I am trying to explain is this. The main reason of the Constitutional crisis that we are facing right now is because of the inappropriate behaviors of the Prime Minister and Members of the Cabinet. Therefore, despite of the fact that the Cabinet Handbook 2011 is a requirement of the Constitution, however, it is still un-Constitutional because of the things inside the handbook. 

Those things have driven me to this conclusion. The Constitutional requirement for the Cabinet procedures was deliberately exploited for political purposes and resulted with a process that is against the Constitution. As said before, the details of the process for preparation of bills in the Cabinet Handbook 2011 can prove us that truth. 

That means the Acts and Bills already established from that system which is something else that is totally different from the truth in the Constitution are all illegal and un-Constitutional. Example – L.T.R.A 2008, C.L.A.C 2013, the new tax law to tax Church Ministers, Alienation of Customary land Bill 2017 and the Electoral Constituencies Bill 2018. It is not surprising, therefore, the illegality and the un-Constitutionality of those Acts and Bills already disturbed the peace and harmony in our country. 

That is, the four well-known wise Chiefs of Samoa are the first people among us to officially lodge a complaint to the A.D.B in order to secure our customary lands from the L.T.R.A 2008. Apart from that, the S.S.I.G group took the challenge on its own hands and delivered its message to the Prime Minister through protest marches, a petition to the Parliament and through public negotiation with the Parliamentary Committee. They have been challenging the government for a while now for repealing of the L.T.R.A 2008. 

On the other hand, the E.F.K.S Church remained as another standing challenge to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet because of the new tax law to tax Church Ministers earnings. Saleaula’s Village Council has been seen in the same way but on a different case. Saleaula is just another new resistance against the Prime Minister and the Cabinet because of the Electoral Constituencies Bill 2018. 

In addition, there is another important resistance which is the voice of concern from Samoans around the world expressing through the services of the Media. Samoans around the world are fully engaged on social media and sharing their concerns about issues affecting our Constitution due to the Prime Minister’s leadership. That is how serious of the crisis that we are facing right now in our country about our Constitution.

 

Nanai Malonuu Lealaiauloto Nofoaiga

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