Electoral Commission quashes by-election report

The Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio has confirmed there will be no by-election for the constituency of Gagaifomauga no3 after its Member of Parliament left his political party. 

The Former SPeaker and Cabinet MInister, La'aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao Fosi formally announced that he has stepped aside from the ruling Human Rights Protection Party and will now be an Independent M.P

The senior M.P. for Gagaifomauga no3, said his decision to leave H.R.P.P. is to obey his constituency’s wish to break-away from the party and to set up a new political party. 

Radio New Zealand reported on Friday morning that the constituency would have to undergo a by-election. 

But the Constitution makes it clear that a seat is vacated should an M.P. that entered parliament under a political party’s flag resigns or switches to another party. 

However, an M.P. can move to become an independent M.P. should the party decide to sack him.  

According to Faimalo, the H.R.P.P. Leader and Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi had already announced publicly that their party had parted ways with La’auli in accordance with the internal procedures and regulations of their party. 

“That was prior to the Honourable La’auli’s press conference where he declared himself officially as an independent M.P.,” he said. 

“I’ve already outlined what the law says about these kinds of circumstances. 

“When a Member resigns from one political party and joins another political party, then that is a ground for a Parliamentary Seat to be vacated. And a by-election is therefore called.”

Faimalo said in the case of La’auli, he was let go by the H.R.P.P. as per an announcement from the Prime Minister with the former Cabinet Minister declaring himself to be an Independent M.P. 

“In accordance with the Standing Order of Parliament, when an M.P. ceases to be a Member of the Political Party that he swore allegiance to, he shall then become an Independent M.P.,” he added. 



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