Former Cabinet Minister accuses P.M. of alleged favouritism

Member of Parliament for Gagaifomauga No.3, La'aulialemalietoa Leuatea Schmidt, has accused Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, of alleged favouritism in choosing officials for key positions in Government.

The former Speaker of the House and Cabinet Minister made the claim during an interview with the Radio Samoa last week where he referred to the appointments of the Head of State and the Chief Justice as examples.

An email was sent to the Press Secretariat, Nanai Lave Tuiletufuga, for a response from the Prime Minister on the allegations made by La'auli.

Nanai acknowledged receipt of the email.

"Tuilaepa has already addressed these issues during his weekly programmes with 2AP, TV3 and TV1,” Nanai said. “But we will make a request to the P.M. regarding the questions you sent through."

No other response was received from the Press Secretariat before press time.

But La'auli, who was ousted from the ruling Human Rights Protection Party [H.R.P.P.], alleged that it is Tuilaepas’ tactic "to choose whom he favours."

"When the late Malietoa Tanumafili II passed away, Parliament was then tasked with the selection of someone to take over the role of the Head of State," La'auli told Radio Samoa.

"We were looking at someone who was highly respected in the community and who is well-known for his service to the country to be the next Head of State for Samoa.

"The discussion of a Head of State was done among the members of the H.R.P.P. during the Parliamentary term from 2006-2011 and all members were in agreement for Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi to be the H.O.S.”

But La’auli alleged Tuilaepa did not like this.

"That is an example of what I am saying that he only picks the people whom he likes. Tuilaepa brought up all the bad qualities and said Tupua was not fitting for the role of H.O.S,” La’auli said.

"He said all those things while we were all listening. Mind you, some of us are related to Tui Atua, so we were not pleased with what he said.

"However, despite his efforts to lure us into voting "NO", Tui Atua was chosen as the Head of States for Samoa."

La'auli also delved into the recent selection of the new Chief Justice.

"When the former Chief Justice, Patu Tiavasu'e Falefatu Sapolu, retired, one of the Senior Judges in Samoa, Vui Clarence Nelson took over while they awaited the selection of a new Chief Justice,” La’auli said.

"While we thought Vui would become the next Chief Justice for Samoa, Tuilaepa had other plans.”

Laauli said another Member of Parliament, Faumuina Wayne Fong, had questioned the Prime Minister about this.

"I have the utmost respect to the current Chief Justice, but I just want to use this as proof of what I mean that Tuilaepa would choose anyone he likes. Tuilaepa's response to Faumuina was, "You (Faumuina) don't know Vui as I do."

"What does that supposed to mean? It means that Tuilaepa can pick anyone he wants and if he (Tuilaepa) does not like you, he will never choose you. He only picks those who listen to him and that's how powerful this man is."



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