Former Speaker calls off parliament meeting
The former Speaker of the House, Leaupepe Toleafoa Faafisi has called off Monday’s sitting despite orders from the Supreme Court to revoke the Head of State’s eleventh hour declaration to suspend the sitting.
In a media statement on Sunday evening distributed by the caretaker Government's Press Secretary’s Office, the former Speaker confirmed his decision to postpone the Parliament until a further proclamation has been made by the Head of State.
“Further notice will be announced by the Office of the Clerk to officially inform Hon Members of the Legislative Assembly as well as invited guests for the State Opening of the XVII parliament,” he said.
Leaupepe said the notice is made in compliance with the proclamation by the Head of State issued on Saturday 22 May “and as the continuing Speaker of the Legislative Assembly under section 30 of the Legislative Assembly Powers Privileges Ordinance 1960…”
The latest notice from the former Speaker follows a Supreme Court sitting on Sunday that declared the proclamation by the Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II on Saturday night to cancel Parliament sitting on Monday as "unlawful".
Chaired by Chief Justice, His Honour Satiu Simativa Perese the Court issued an interim order that any purported revocation of proclamation for Parliament to convene within 45 days is inconsistent with the judgement of the Supreme Court and the Constitution of Samoa.
The media statement issued on Sunday night by Leaupepe, yet again, puts the caretaker Government of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi on a collision course with the country's Supreme Court.
Attempts by the Samoa Observer to contact the Clerk of the Assembly, Tiatia Graeme Tualaulelei to seek clarity on whether it is within the powers of a former speaker, who is no longer a member of parliament to issue statements on behalf of the House, were unsuccessful.