Party leader welcomes bills' debate deferral

The leader of the Sovereign Independent Samoa Political Party has welcomed the decision by the Government not to include the Land and Titles Court [L.T.C.] Bills on this month’s parliamentary agenda.

But Fesola’i Logomalieimatagi Tepa-Toloa says her challenge to Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi to debate the L.T.C. Bills remain and she is waiting to hear from the Attorney General’s Office.

In a letter dated 16 November 2020 to the Attorney General Mareva Betham-Annandale, Fesola’i stated it was the National University of Samoa’s Vice Chancellor Office who advised the debate between her and the P.M. was put on hold.

Her letter was also copied to the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet C.E.O. Agafili Shem Leo and the N.U.S. Vice Chancellor Professor Alec Ekeroma.

Fesola’i added that Agafili was copied on the correspondence “to make everything convenient for the Honorable Prime Minister.”

“It has been relayed to me from …[N.U.S.] that you had advised to put the debate on hold until the Prime Minister has given you the green lights on the direction that this debate shall take, and I am in agreement and happy with the decision,” writes Fesola’i in her letter to the Attorney General. 

“This may coincide well with the program N.U.S. may have at the beginning of the year. The only reason…the date of the 18 November 2020 was chosen was I wanted [it] to coincide it before the bills were tabled according to its normal progression so the outcome of this debate makes sense.”

And while Fesola’i admits that she is consoled by the fact that the Parliament will not proceed with the LTC Bills, her invitation to the Prime Minister remains. 

“Therefore I do not object to the postponing of the debate. I understand the Prime Minister has 101 things on his mind and this is where I believe your role as the A.G. is appropriate,” she added in her letter to the Attorney General.

“I am prepared anytime he is ready either this year or beginning of next, [in] January, as long as it is before the Parliament decides to table the L.T.C. Bills.

“Also, please have the agreement attended to and if there is anything you need to bring my attention please do so this week before the P.M. decides to proceed with the debate.”

And if and when the Prime Minister agrees to the debate, Fesola’i asked the Attorney General for a week’s notice.

“All public servants are looking to their leader to make good his word as well as the people of Samoa near and far,” she said.

But if the Attorney General has a different debate host, Fesola’i added that she should be kept in the loop and she doesn’t mind the N.U.S. Vice Chancellor organising the panel as well as debate moderator. 

“Do not be disturbed that all our correspondences are made public as this is a public issue. I look forward to your confirmation as soon as possible,” Fesola’i writes.

The Attorney General did not respond immediately to questions from the Samoa Observer as of press time on Tuesday evening.

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