The Council of Deputies has two new Members. They are veteran Members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers, Tuiloma Pule Lameko and Le Mamea Ropati Mualia.
Whereas Tuiloma holds the Ministry of Revenue portfolio, Le Mamea is the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.
The motion for the appointments was moved by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi in Parliament.
It was passed on Wednesday night.
Tuiloma and Le Mamea will join the sole member of the Council of Deputies, Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Suavi II, when their terms in Parliament end.
Both men are not running in the General Elections.
Speaking about the appointments, Tuilaepa said the positions in the Council of Deputies have been vacant for some time. He said the position holders play a vital role, especially when the Head of State is not in the country.
“That is why the positions should not be left as it is, it should be occupied,” he said. “It is not right to have the positions vacant while there is a law that guides the appointments, and when there are allocated funds for the appointments.
“For that reason Mr. Speaker, the House is aware of two patriots who have officially informed the Assembly they will not be contesting (general election).
“The two M.Ps have also been in the House for years and are founding members of the Human Rights Protection Party.
“I therefore move a motion for the Assembly to approve the appointment of Tuiloma Lameko and Le Mamea Ropati as members of the Council of Deputies.”
The motion was well supported, and the Speaker of Parliament, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao, announced that it had been passed.
Opposition Leader, Palusalue Fa’apo II, congratulated the new position holders.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Tuiloma said he was grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve Samoa.
Le Mamea was equally grateful and humbled.
He thanked God for the appointment and acknowledged Parliament’s trust in him to serve in the position.
“I had planned to retire but Parliament has appointed me for the position,” said Le Mamea. “Thank God for making me his servant and the opportunity to continue my service for Samoa.”
Le Mamea is 71-years-old. A Pharmacist by profession, he entered politics in 1979. In 1982, he served as the Minister of Lands Survey, Post Office and Broadcasting.
He subsequently served as Minister of Education, Youth, Sports & Cultural Affairs and Labour in the government of Tofilau Eti Alesana.
Between 2001 and 2006, he was Leader of the Opposition Samoa Democratic United Party.
He is also the Secretary of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa’s Finance Committee.
Tuiloma on the other hand is 80-years-old.
Tuiloma was the first Samoan to be appointed as General Manager of the Samoa Shipping Corporation. He first entered Parliament as the M.P for Safata from 1979 to 1996. From 2001, he has held one of two seats from Falealili.
According to Constitution under section 25 Council of Deputies (1) There shall be a Council of Deputies, which shall consist of one, 2 or 3 persons elected by the Legislative Assembly: provided that, if the Assembly shall not have elected a Council of Deputies, the Chief Justice shall assume the functions of the Council.
(2) A person shall not be qualified to be elected as, or to continue to be, a member of the Council of Deputies unless he is qualified to be elected as Head of State under the provisions of Article 18.
(3) An election of members of the Council of Deputies shall be held as soon as possible after each election of a Head of State: PROVIDED THAT, while the provisions of Article 17 are in force, an election of members of the Council of Deputies shall be held as soon as possible after Independence Day and, thereafter, at intervals of not less than 4 years and 9 months and not more than 5 years and 3 months.
(4) If at any time the number of members of the Council of Deputies is less than 3, the Legislative Assembly may elect as a member of the Council a person qualified to be elected under the provisions of clause (2), and any person so elected shall hold office until the next ensuing election held under the provisions of clause (3).
(5) Subject to the provisions of clause (2), a member of the Council of Deputies shall be eligible for re-election.
(6) A member of the Council of Deputies may resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Prime Minister, who shall forthwith advise the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of that resignation.
(7) The Legislative Assembly may, on a motion carried by not less than two-thirds of the total number of Members of Parliament (including vacancies), remove from office a member of the Council of Deputies on the ground of stated misbehavior or of infirmity of body or mind.