Chiefs ask La'auli to exit H.R.P.P.
Former Cabinet Minister and senior Member of Parliament, La'aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polata'ivao, has been told by his constituency of Gagaifomauga No. 3 to leave the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.).
The decision was confirmed by Polataivao Pouvalu, from the village of Fagae'e, who claimed the support of the Faletolu (made up of the villages Fagae'e, Sasina, and Letui).
"The senior chiefs of the Faletolu already met to discuss the issue," Polataivao told the Samoa Observer during an interview.
"We were supposed to gather and invite all the matai of the constituency, but because of the terms of the State of Emergency, that says not to have gatherings of more than five people, we (senior matai) decided to meet and discuss the issue on behalf of the constituency.
"The decision we came up with is to advise our Member of Parliament to move away from the H.R.P.P and make an official farewell speech in Parliament."
Polataivao admitted that the decision was not easy to make.
"As you know, we made a public announcement and told the public before that our M.P was still a member of the H.R.P.P and have also told our M.P to stay with the ruling party. This was last year when there were concerns that La'auli was no longer a member of the H.R.P.P," he said.
Asked what made them change their minds, Polataivao said the decision derived from their "love for their M.P".
"We chose La'auli to be our representative because we believed in him and trusted him to be our voice in Parliament. He has done so much for the constituency and had served our constituency well, with humility. So to see and hear the Prime Minister making mockery remarks about our M.P, saying he is no longer a member of the ruling party does not sit well with us.
"We felt sorry for him (La'auli) because it seems like our Prime Minister was making him a laughing stock. We respect our Prime Minister and the H.R.P.P., but our love for our M.P is greater than that."
Polataivao added that their constituency is not against the H.R.P.P.
"We are strong supporters of the H.R.P.P, as a matter of fact, our forefathers including La'auli's father were founding members of the H.R.P.P, so we are strong supporters. However, that does not stop us from making a decision for the sake of he who is representing us in parliament.
"(And) that is why we decided and have advised our M.P to move away and make and official resignation from H.R.P.P. in parliament."
In saying that, Polataivao said, Gagaifomauga No.3 will continue to stand behind their M.P and support him.
"Our Faletolu will continue to support him because we voted for him. He has done a lot (for the constituents) as I mentioned before; he always checks on us (constituents) and is always looking at different ways to help develop and create employment for the people of Gagaifomauga No.3.
"If he decides to join another political party or start up his own political party we will back him up."
The former Cabinet Minister and senior Member of Parliament, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao, was contacted for a comment in regards to the decision made by his constituency.
La'auli confirmed that he sought a decision from his constituency, however, he refused to comment now saying he will make an official statement "soon."
"I will host a press conference soon," he told the Samoa Observer over the phone.
"(And) I will make an official statement during the press conference and you will be invited to join."
Recently, Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, who is also the leader of the ruling party said there are currently 46 H.R.P.P. members since La’auli had left the party.
La'auli refuted the comments saying Tuilaepa cannot sack him from the ruling H.R.P.P..
In an interview with the Samoa Observer last week, La'auli said: "My constituency and I have the authority to decide whether I should leave the party or not, not him. He does not have the authority to sack me from the party. I respect the position of the Prime Minister and his titles but he does not rule the party.”