M.P.'s "sacking" final: P.M.
The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi is continuing to insist that the former Cabinet Minister La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao has been sacked from the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.).
On Sunday, La’auli had told the Samoa Observer that the Prime Minister had no authority to sack him and was “bullying” him; only the M.P. himself or his constituents could decide to leave the H.R.P.P.
But on his Tuesday evening radio programme and in response to the Sunday article, Tuilaepa said that La’auli’s axing had been made final.
“I am not used to making threats, but the decision has been made; he has been sacked and he cannot come back to our party,” Tuilaepa said.
The Prime Minister said he had earlier tried to soften the public blow to the M.P. by suggesting he had resigned from the party.
“But he was sacked from the party when he voted against the proposed amendments to the Constitution,” said the Prime Minister.
Tuilaepa did not specify which constitutional amendments La’auli had opposed, but in February 2019 La’auli voted against an amendment to electoral boundaries which he said would have a negative impact on his constituency.
When the dispute between La'auli and the Prime Minister first surfaced, Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio, explained that whether an M.P. resigns or is sacked determines whether a by-election is held.
“You will only lose your seat if you resign from the party or hold yourself out as a representative or member of a political party or an organisation that has political aims and desire to take part in an election,” he said.
Last Sunday Laauli said his constituency has the authority to decide whether he should leave the party or not, the Prime Minister.
“He does not have the authority to sack me from the party. I respect the position of the Prime Minister and his titles but he does not rule the party,” he said.
The former Speaker of Parliament said Tuilaepa is behaving like a one-man authority.
“He continues to do this to me where he bullies me to the corner,” said La’auli.
“With due respect, he knows no boundaries when it comes to people he disrespects, from the former Head of State to the Deputy Prime Minister, church ministers, our Judges, lawyers and the general public.
“He has done this to me many times and to others but let me ask this, who is he to humiliate our people?”