P.M. says democracy is alive and well
The outcome of the vote on a motion by the Government to terminate the services of the Lands and Titles Court President, Fepulea'i Atilla Ropati, shows that democracy is alive and well in Samoa.
That's the opinion of Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, after the motion he moved, was defeated in Parliament.
Twenty one Members of Parliament voted for the motion, another 18 voted against it, opting instead to reinstate Fepuleai.
The outcome of the vote did not meet the two-thirds majority required under Samoa's Constitution to terminate Fepulea’i's services.
Following the vote, the Prime Minister took the floor and said that democracy is alive and well in the governing of Samoa.
“It is not easy to accept the result of today’s election," he said.
"But that is democracy for you and democracy is the foundation of this Government. We have followed the process to fulfil the requirements under the Constitution."
Emphasising that the outcome of the vote is a reflection of Parliament fulfilling the requirements of the law, the Prime Minister said “only God can pass judgement”.
The vote by the MPs on the recommendations put forward by the Special Parliamentary Committee is a first for Samoa’s Parliament, added the P.M.
“We have our differences. As you have heard the motion by the Government, that is where we stand, with the belief that should’ve been the case. However, Parliament has voted and that is the result.”
Tuilaepa then advised Parliament that there will be amendments to the Constitution as a result of the matter.
“The Constitution is silent on certain things. The only aspect that’s outlined in the Constitution is the termination of the service for the Judge – the question is what is next – there are loopholes in this specific Constitution.”
"As the Samoan proverb says, everything happens for a reason, so we can do better."
Under Article 68(5) of the Samoa Constitution, a judge of the Supreme Court shall not be removed from Office, except by the Head of State on an address of the Legislative Assembly carried by not less than two-thirds of the total number of Members of Parliament (including vacancies).
The results of Tuesday’s historical vote is as follows.
Those who voted to terminate the service of the President of the L.T.C.
Tuilaepa Dr Sa'ilele Malielegaoi - Lepa
Fiame Naomi Mata’afa – Lotofaga
Tuitama Dr Leao Tuitama – A’ana Alofi Nu.1 East
Sala Fata Pinati - Gagaemauga Nu. 1
Papali’itele Niko Lee Hang - Urban East
Faimalotoa Kika Stowers - Gagaifomauga Nu. 1
Sili Epa Tuioti - Faasaleleaga Nu. 1 East
Loau Solamalemalo Keneti - Sagaga le Falefa
Afamasaga Rico Tupai - Aana Alofi Nu. 3
Laaulialemalietoa Lueatea Schmidt - Gagaifomauga Nu. 3
Afoa Amituana’I Mauli - Alataua West -
To’omata Aki Tuipea - Salega West
Fonotoe Lauofo Meredith- Anoamaa West
Taefu Lemi - Falelatai & Samatau
Amituanai Kenrick Samu - Aleipata Itupa i Luga
Seiuli Ueligatone Seiuli - Sagaga le Usoga
Faasootauloa Pati Taulapapa - Gagaemauga No. 2
Foleni Lio Tama Galu - Faasaleleaga Nu. 3
Lenatai Victor Tamapua - Vaimauga Sisifo Nu.1,
Faalogo Iosefa Sopi – Siumu
Faumuina Leaitunu’u Wayne Fong - Urban West
Those M.P.s who voted to reinstate Fepulea’i:
Faaolesa Katopau Ainu’u – Vaimuaga West Nu.2
Tialavea Tionisio Hunt – Va’a o Fonoti
Tapusatale Maukeni Esera – Vaisigano Nu.2
Galotoaifaana Amataga Alesana-Gidlow - Faasaleleaga Nu. 1
Tafua Maluelue Tafua - Aleipata Itupa i Lalo
Faumuina Tiatia Liuga - Palauli le Falefa
Aeau Peniamina – Falealupo
Tuifa'asisina Misa Palemene - Palauli Sasae
Salausa Dr. John Ah Ching –Faleata East
Mulipola Leitaua Laki - Aiga i le Tai
Sooalo Mene - Gagaifomauga Nu. 2
Lealailepule Aiafi Rimoni - Faleata West
Sulamanaia Tauili’ili Tuivasa – Vaimauga East
Fuimaono Teo Samuelu - Falealili East
Leaana Ronnie Posini – Safata West
Aumua Isaia Lameko –Falealili West
Toleafoa Ken Poutoa - Lefaga & Faleseela
Nafoitoa Talaimanu Keti - Gagaemauga No.3