P.M. Tuilaepa brushes off reinstatement calls

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi has brushed aside suggestions former Members of Parliament, Olo Fiti Va'ai and Faumuina Leatinu'u Wayne, should be reinstated to their seats.

Commenting on the issue during his weekly radio program on 2AP on Thursday, Tuilaepa said people who are pushing for the reinstatement of the two former Members of Parliament are not taking the law seriously.

"Whoever made those comments obviously take breaking the law lightly," he said in response.

"Once you break the law, you break the law, you should deal with the consequences."

Olo and Faumuina – who are the former MP for Salega East and Urban West – had their seats in the Legislative Assembly declared vacant by the Speaker of the House, Leaupepe Toleafoa Fa'afisi, after they pledged their allegiance to the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) for the 2021 General Election.

The decision to vacate the two seats is in line with the Parliamentary Standing Orders, according to Leaupepe. 

Commenting further on the two sidelined leaders, Tuilaepa said they are free to return to the Parliament after the General Election next April.

"There is a chance for them (Olo and Faumuina) to return to Parliament," Tuilaepa said. "They are free to return to Parliament after April next year.

"No one is stopping them from returning to Parliament after the election, should the voters vote them back. It all depends on them (the voters) to decide and the spiritual whispers from God."

Turning to the calls for the two F.A.S.T. candidates to be reinstated, Tuilaepa said: "People should stop making such comments and generalise it as if the decision is up to us. Instead, they should go and pray for the betterment of our country."

It is understood the two former Members of Parliament will challenge the decision by the Speaker to vacate their seats, which they have both described as “illegal” and vowed to fight it in court.

Last week, Olo maintained that the decision by the Speaker has resulted in their "illegal removal" from the Parliament. 

The matter is expected to go before the Supreme Court on Monday for mention.

Faumuina has also criticised the Office of the Legislative Clerk claiming that they cannot be given their payout because Parliament is yet to be dissolved. 

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