M.P’s future with H.R.P.P. uncertain
The future of former Cabinet Minister and Speaker of Parliament, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polata’ivao, with the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) appears uncertain.
It follows his decision to vote against the Government’s Electoral Constituencies Bill in Parliament, where he was one of two Members of Parliament who objected during the ballot.
The other M.P. was Olo Fiti Vaai.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi told the media during his weekly media conference that he had written to La’auli to thank him for his services to the political party.
“I wrote to thank him for removing himself from the party,” Tuilaepa said. “I thanked him for making that decision and we happily accept his decision.”
The Prime Minister wouldn’t say whether La’auli’s services to the party have been terminated.
Contacted for a comment last night, La’aulialemalietoa denied receiving a letter from the Prime Minister.
“I cannot comment on the matter as I did not receive any letter,” La’auli said.
But the Prime Minister said there are H.R.P.P. bylaws that must be respected, when it comes to the position of the party on certain issues. He said La’auli’s vote against the Government’s position was his way of exiting the party.
“He has made his decision and under our by-laws, it’s an indication that you have officially resigned,” Tuilaepa said.
Asked if that means there would be a by-election at Laauli’s constituency, Tuilaepa said that is under the jurisdiction of the Speaker of Parliament, Leaupepe Tole'afoa Faafisi.
He reiterated that while it’s the M.P.’s prerogative to vote where he desires; there are bylaws of the party that must be adhered to.
“We don’t want to hold on to an M.P. whom was given the utmost respect (by this party),” Tuilaepa said.
“We shifted him to the moon making him the Speaker of Parliament. Then, he was moved to the sun, when he was named a Cabinet Minister and then he fell from the sun, when he resigned from his post, as a result of a court case.”
Tuilaepa told the media that an official letter has been sent to the M.P.
Earlier this week, La’auli criticised the Government’s bill saying it effectively removes one M.P. from Savai’i.
“This is not an easy matter where you have effectively removed one Member of Parliament from Savai’i and added four for Apia (Upolu).
Mr. Speaker this is not a matter to be taken lightly,” La’auli said.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa was not impressed.
“Mr. Speaker, it’s not about your voice being loud, you have to look at the totality of what’s being done.
“Mr. Speaker, we are only removing it but Leauva’a remains. We are not fools. Don’t mislead the country.
“Leauva’a is here (Upolu) now but they are still people from Savai’i. The people who drafted this law are not fools, they did a lot of work.”
The bill has been passed with 44 MPs voting for it.
La’auli has been a long serving member of the H.R.P.P. He had also served as the Party’s Whip for many years.