Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely
Samoa has indeed had an eventful week this week.
The opposition Human Rights Protection Party leader and its MP Secretary were barred from Parliament and Parliamentary grounds for another 24 months.
With close to 6 months of the earlier ban, this tantamounts to a total of 30 months without pay.
They must not also enter Parliament nor set foot on any inch of the Parliamentary grounds, nor even use its library or visit the toilets.
Fiame, Laauli and Speaker Papali’i appeared very proud, tall and on top of the moon.
Even the full details of the punishments were read out in the House for the whole Nation and the World to know how powerful the FAST Government is now and everyone must be careful.
They could not even wait to issue the removal order for the two to parade out for the TV cameras before the closure of the meeting just a few seconds later. The humiliation must be complete.
This is the first time in 60 years, that MPs have been treated in Parliament like dogs, or even worse, by a ruling Party that calls itself, Faatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi – Faith in God the whole of Samoa acting as one.
This is the same God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Blessed Trinity, that our Constitution stipulates that our State is founded on.
Indeed, the very God that we Christians praise daily for His love and forgiveness, the Values that we all aspire to follow.
Is this the kind of Democracy we want?
Hate abounds and Government operates without Governance. There is no more respect for the Rule of Law.
The first suspension without any limit by Parliament was overruled by the Court and so the two MPs resumed duties in early September.
And in the Parliamentary session on 18 October, 2022, another decision by the FAST Party, holding the majority and stressing their supremacy in Parliament and down playing the role of the Courts, reintroduced a new ban for a further 2 years.
The excuse by the PM, Cabinet, Speaker, and FAST members was that the 2 members did not apologise.
Apologise for what? Breach of Privilege? The two members had never breached any Parliamentary privileges!
The Constitutional Rights of the People of Lepā and Vaitele 3 constituencies to be represented in Parliament have been trampled on.
After the General Elections in April 2021 and the FAST Party became the Government, their plot was to do everything possible, and by any means, to gain a two thirds majority to change the Constitution and kick out the President of the Land and Titles Court because it did not rule in favour of Fiame over the Land and Titles Court case on the Faumuina Title of Lepea that was conferred on Fiame earlier without the consent of the Heirs.
It was also the same reason for Fiame and Party ordering the police to ban 18 HRPP MPs from taking their oaths on 14/15 September 2021.
It was their hope then that the bi-elections to follow would be won by FAST members enough to gain a two thirds majority to achieve Fiames plan.
But the Court intervened and HRPP MPs were sworn in on 17 September 2021.
Then the Harmony Agreement in which the two HRPP and FAST leaders later agreed to remove all cases remaining against each other and to focus attention on National efforts to control the COVID-19 Pandemic and promote measures to grow the economy, was thought to be a great step in the right direction.
Instead of honoring the Harmony Agreement based on customs, in language and form, which the Court very strangely decided to sanction, Fiame and Party used the occasion to suspend the two MPs from Parliament without a time limit on the charge of the breach of privileges.
The Court intervened again and cancelled Parliament’s suspension decision.
The hastily recalled Parliamentary Privileges and Ethics Committee that recommended the new suspension was dominated by Government Associate Ministers and the chairman was the Minister of Health.
The Committee’s recommendations therefore could never – never – never be fair.
The Ethics Committee’s recommendations were swallowed up, lock stock and barrel by FAST because they reflected Fiame’s directive through the Ministers FAST stacked Parliamentary Committee!
Fiame’s final speech in Parliament on 18 October indiscreetly revealed her whole selfish ambition when she referred again to the President of the Land and Titles Court and the decision by Parliament years ago for him to continue as President which has no connection at all to the suspension debate.
Pride, anger, ego, hate and vindictiveness gave her away.
The Faumuina Title holds vast acreages of customary lands that are on lease-holdings in Lepea village, hence its importance monetary wise.
Fiame had already tried many tactics and failed.
At a time when the country is facing enormous challenges requiring good leadership, it is disappointing to all educated Samoans that the leader of Government should prioritise her own selfish and egotistical greed over her duties and responsibilities as leader of this Country.
The rest of the FAST Party followed innocently. Luckily, there is still time for a U-TURN, now.
Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi
Leader of HRPP
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