Deputy P.M. Fiame coy on "resignation" reports

The Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, says she refuses to entertain rumours circulating in the community that she has resigned from public office.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer on Wednesday during an interview in her office, Fiame refused to confirm or deny the reports just as she would not be drawn into a discussion about her political future in Government.

The Samoa Observer approached the Deputy Prime Minister for a comment after the newspaper received calls from members of the public querying the accuracy of the reports.

“The interesting part is that where is the source of all of this,” said the Deputy Prime Minister, before refusing to comment further.

Fiame is also the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

The reports come two weeks after a heated exchange between Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi and his Deputy on the floor of Parliament last month, over changes to electoral laws.

During the debate in the Parliament’s chamber, Tuilaepa said Cabinet Ministers who do not conform to Cabinet solidarity should resign from their positions.

Fiame is Samoa’s first female Deputy P.M., joining Cabinet in 1991.

The Samoa Observer also sought comments from the Deputy P.M. over reports she allegedly apologised to the Cabinet following her exchange with the P.M. in Parliament.

But Fiame downplayed it to only say “we had a chat” in Cabinet, and refused to divulge details of their conversation.

A Cabinet Minister, who did not want to be identified, told the Samoa Observer that Tuilaepa and his Deputy were apologetic to each other and “ironed out” their differences in Cabinet.

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