Where did you pick up this kind of garbage?: Tuilaepa
14 July 2021
Letter to the Editor
SACKING OF CHIEF JUSTICE (CJ) AND FALSE RUMOURS
Someone wrote to me today (July 13th) mentioning a rumour your newspaper has created that this Government plans to dismiss the CJ. This is news to me. Where did you pick up this kind of garbage? The FAST leadership? It must be!
The political problems facing Samoa today were never caused by this Government. If it is to be recalled, three major Court decisions have been instrumental in the impasse we are confronting today.
First: The Supreme Court decision which erroneously decided that five (5) women MPs comprised 10% stipulated under Article 44 of the Constitution. It was a very, very strange split decision. The Court then chose the length of time for the Electoral Commission to submit his report to the Head of State on the official results of the General Election (an issue that was irrelevant in the case) as the basis of its decision. This was the first Court decision with a classic tail end.
Second: The Court of Appeal then overruled the Supreme Court decision and stated that the correct number of women MPs is six (6) as the HRPP argued. But then attached another of its own tail end that the sixth woman (an HRPP candidate) can only be activated after all the petitions have been heard and bi-elections have been held. This is the second tail created by the Court – again raising many more questions. The HRPP has nevertheless accepted this decision with humility and this is where we are today – waiting and waiting. If there was no tail end here, Parliament could have convened then with FAST and HRPP both having 26-26 members each, a tie, a hung parliament, and therefore a possible General or Snap Election. That is the ideal solution – Let the people decide! However the Court and FAST did not seem to want that. The Court by implication seems to want to choose the Government they wanted.
Third: The Supreme Court decision presided over by Justice Vui ruled against the ceremony by FAST under the tent on Monday 24th May 2021 as unconstitutional, illegal and therefore void and of no effect. Bravo! But then very strangely attached another tail end that Parliament must meet within seven days or else the Court would reconsider the issue of the ceremony that was already declared illegal and unconstitutional – a plain threat. And using the Doctrine of Necessity which in short could declare legal what was already ruled as unconstitutional and illegal!
This Supreme Court decision was based on the Head of State’s Proclamation of 20th May 2021 which had already lapsed or expired. Again FAST has appealed Justice Vui’s decision. These famous Court initiated tails have frustrated the normal functioning of the Parliamentary Processes under the Constitution of the Independent State of Samoa. As mentioned above, these three tails are the causes of our current political problems.
The Head of State in his recent proclamation on Sunday 4th July 2021 has provided a solution. He, as the Sole Legal Authority to convene Parliament has called for all actions necessary to be completed to properly convene Parliament on Monday 2nd August 2021.
Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi