M.P. tells Parliament of constituency's opposition to L.T.C. changes

Member of Parliament for Palauli West, Afoa Faleulu Mauli, has informed Parliament that his constituency strongly opposes three bills before the House which proposes to reshape the Judiciary.

Speaking during the budget debate in Parliament on Thursday night, Afoa said it is no secret that his constituency has expressed their opposition to the proposed laws.

A Special Parliamentary Committee is holding consultations in villages for the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020, Land and Titles Court Bill 2020 and Judicature Bill 2020.   The M.P. told Parliament that he had informed his constituents to make their presentation before the Committee.

The consultation is moving towards the villages of Foaluga and Foalalo, said the M.P.

“The most crucial matter that my district is worried about under the bill is the limited number of matai title holders,” he said.

“I agree with the concerns from my district, why is the Government interfering with family measina, families govern their own [affairs].

“Whether they decide on one, five or a hundred matai sao, do not meddle with families and their right over their measina.”  

Under the Land and Titles Court Bill 2020 clause 13, it provides for the limited number of matai sa’o to five per family who must also be registered.

According to the M.P. for Palauli West, the Committee has assured they will make recommendation to the Government and Parliament to remove the matai title provision from the bills.

“I will try to follow up on that,” he said.

At that point Deputy Speaker, Nafoitoa Talaimanu Keti, warned the M.P. against discussing matters pertaining to a Parliamentary Committee, which is still in progress.

Afoa said it is his responsibility and duty as the representative in the Legislative Assembly to voice the views of his constituency in Parliament.

He added the most important thing is for his constituents to hear him deliver their wish at the Maota Fono.

In May, more than 20 matai from the constituency of Palauli West visited their M.Ps residence in Upolu to express their opposition to the bills.

During a meeting with the M.P. and the leaders of the sub-villages of Palauli West, the senior matai reminded the M.P. about his duty to deliver their views in Parliament without fear even if it draws him into conflict with the Prime Minister.

“Afoa, be brave: your constituency has come from Savai’i to tell you of how we feel about the bills,” said one of the matai at the  meeting. 

“We wish you well on the remaining time of your term. Voice the position of your constituency and we can assure you, you will return [in the next general election].”  

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