The Speaker of Parliament, Leaupepe Tole’afoa Fa’afisi, has been accused of wrongdoing in connection to the recent General Election. The allegation comes from election candidate for Aana Alofi No. 1, Aiono Tile Gafa, who has filed an election petition against Leaupepe and the Office of the Electoral Commissioner.
The basis of the lawsuit could not be determined last night.
However, the case is one of five election petitions filed with the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration as of 5pm yesterday, the closing time for election petitions.
This was confirmed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, Papali’i John Taimalelagi.
The other four petitions involve:
• Lafaitele Patrick Leiataualesa vs Aliimalemalemanu Alofa Tuuau
• Ale Vena Ale vs Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi and the Office of the Electoral Commissioner
• Palusalue Faapo II vs Leaana Ronnie Posini and Manualesagalala Enokati Posala
• Anae Misa Pita vs Taefu Lemi
According to Papali’i, all petitions have been referred the Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu for a review and to set a mention date.
“Today at 5pm was the last day for all electoral petitions and there are only five petitions that have been lodged,” Papali’i said.
The C.E.O also confirmed three other election-related criminal matters that have been lodged with the Court, to be heard on 12 April 2016.
These matters involve criminal charges against two Members of Parliaments, which have been filed through private criminal prosecution.
The two Members of Parliament accused are Sala Fata Pinati, of Gagaemauga No 1, and Pau Sefo Pau of Faasaleleaga No. 2.
The 3rd charge involves Talaimanu Keti of Gagaemauga No 2.
The Ministry of Justice CEO did not confirm what the charges are except to say that they will be revealed in Court.
Papali’i added that there is no deadline for criminal matters to be filed in relation to the recent general election.