Leala to make announcement

The Whip of the Tautua Samoa Party, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, is to make an official announcement about his future before the General Elections in March. 

Contrary to widespread media reports about the Faleata West Member of Parliament switching to the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P), Leala maintained yesterday that he is still a member of the Tautua Party.

 “I can’t move until the end of January (when Parliament dissolves)", he said. 

Parliament is scheduled to be dissolved on Friday 29 January 2016.

In the meantime, Leala said: “I’m preparing to do a press conference (after) and I have to explain to the people (my decision).”

Suspicions about Leala’s future have been heightened given his absence from the Tautua party’s weekly press conferences.

Asked about this, Leala said the press conferences were optional and many members of the Tautua Party hardly turn up to it. 

“For now, everyone should focus on their own campaigns and work hard so they can return in the election.”

Contacted for a comment, Tautua Leader, Palusalue Fa’apo II, maintained that Leala has not resigned from their party. 

He declined to comment saying the party has its weekly press conference today.

When Prime Minister Tuilaepa was asked about Leala during a recent interview, he refused to speculate. 

Tuilaepa said he does not believe in rumours unless he sees it “in pen and paper”.

He explained that if Leala chose to change his political party now, it would mean he has to vacate his seat and a by-election would be called. 

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