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Tuilaepa not my boss, Olo responds about warning

Member of Parliament for Salega East, Olo Fiti Vaai, says Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi might be the leader of the Government but he is not his boss.

That is Olo's response to a warning from Prime Minister Tuilaepa who accused him of undermining the integrity of Parliament and its processes. The Independent M.P. said the leader of Government should focus on the executive’s internal problems instead of him. 

Olo laughed at the Prime Minister’s verbal threat saying he can issue his warnings to his Human Rights Protection Party members, but not him. 

“He is not my boss," Olo said. "The only person that can warn me is the Speaker of Parliament and he [Prime Minister] is not the boss of the Parliament. He can threaten his H.R.P.P. members but not this independent M.P. 

“My advice to him is to go focus on his executive and tidy up their mess. There is a lot of that [mess] he needs to fix and he should worry about that, don’t worry about me.” 

Asked what mess he is referring to, Olo pointed to disagreements over the prison generator project and many other issues raised by members in Parliament during the most recent session. 

“He should spend more time warning his executive over those problems instead of letting them loose,” said Olo. 

Furthermore he challenged the Prime Minister to “play the ball” but not make direct threats towards those that question the Government. 

"Don’t show me your weakness,” he said about the Prime Minister’s comments. 

“Play the ball and talk about the issues. Stop using the strength of the party to threaten others. I say this to him, he should get some good sleep because I care about his health. Don’t lose sleep over me…” 

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, last week warned the M.P. from Salega East against making unfounded comments he claimed undermine the integrity of parliament. 

Speaking about the Privilege and Ethics Committee report that was debated, Tuilaepa said there are occasions that the M.P. brings up matter in parliament with a hidden motive. 

The Prime Minister pointed out those unfounded claims from the M.P. to discredit parliament could be the subject of an investigation in future sitting of Parliament. 

"All this may be touched on by the Parliament in the next sitting; any member of Parliament who may undermine the integrity of the Parliament,” he told radio 2AP. 

“Especially this member of Salega."

But Olo dismissed the claims from the Prime Minister saying that he is the one that continues to undermine the integrity of parliament by threatening other members like him. 

The M.P. also made reference to constant attacks from the Prime Minister in the past where he calls him names including others.  

“He issues warning to others but he is the one that started all of this,” said Olo. 

“If he is worried about the integrity of parliament then he should start doing so by upholding that integrity of parliament and respect it.” 

Olo pointed out that issues he raised in questioning the Parliamentary Committees were valid. 

He is referring to the consultation carried out by Parliamentary Committee into the Land and Titles Court Bill and the Privileges and Ethics Committee report on Gagaemauga no3 M.P. La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao. 

According to Olo, the L.T.C. Committee allegedly breached standing orders by revealing their recommendations before tabling in parliament. 

As for the Privilege and Ethics Committee, he said those new parliamentarians that spoke about the report did not make speeches about the findings but instead used the opportunity to attack La’auli. 

“Their speeches did not debate what was in the report from the Committee but were directed at him [La’auli] and that breaches standing orders,” he said. 

“Even the L.T.C. Committee revealed their recommendations to the public before it is debated in Chamber, that too undermines the integrity of parliament. So what integrity is he talking about if these do not undermine that integrity of our parliament.” 

Olo also responded to claims from Deputy Speaker, Nafoitoa Talaimanu Keti who had warned him over calling them new parliamentarians. 

He adviced the Deputy Speaker to listen to his superior, the Speaker of the House, and “be prepared every time he comes to parliament.” 

Nafoitoa had warned Olo saying his comments shows how narrow minded he was and should respect Members who are representatives of their constituencies. 

About Standing Orders, Tuilaepa in his radio 2AP programme emphasised that the only person that can interpret parliament rules is the Speaker of the House and not anyone else. 

Tuilaepa who spoke about matters discussed in parliament and its proceedings, he said, legally only the Speaker interprets rules in Chamber and the Standing Order is his “bible”.

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