S.I.S. challenges Tuilaepa to debate

The Sovereign Independent Samoa Political Party (S.I.S.) has challenged the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, to publicly debate plans to overhaul the Land and Titles Court (L.T.C.). 

The S.I.S.’ leader, Fesola'i Logo Toloa, laid down the gauntlet in a letter written earlier this week in response to an open invitation made by the Prime Minister on television last month to publicly debate opponents of the bills.

“I am willing to rise up to the challenge and prove to you and all Samoans who have been deceived by these three proposed bills,” she wrote in a letter to Tuilaepa this week.

Fesola’i claimed the Judicature Bill 2020, Lands and Titles Bill 2020 and the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020, currently at the second-reading stage of the Parliamentary process, as “repugnant” and “in breach” of the constitution. 

 Fesola’i claims the L.T.C. bills will alienate customary land and negatively impact the fa’amatai (chiefly) system.

She calls the amendments to the Constitution and the judicature bill “discriminatory in nature and in breach of Article 15 of the Constitution.”

“When I have proven to you and Samoa beyond all doubt that you and your Cabinet have erred, then, firstly, you shall respectfully and willingly shelve the three proposed the three bills” the letter to Tuilaepa says.

Fesola’i suggests the debate be held on 18 November and should include a mix of overseas and local individuals. 

“ I anticipate your favourable response,” Fesola’i concluded. 

The S.I.S. was officially launched in September. Speaking during the launch, Fesola'i said the party’s name is a commemoration of what Samoa's ancestors fought for: "sovereignty and independence as achieved in 1962.”

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