La’auli gets backing from constituency

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By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i, 15 February 2019

Sasina, Letui and Fagae’e, villages in Gagaifomauga No. 3, remain fully supportive of La’auli Leuatea Polata’ivao as their representative in Parliament, and the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P).

The message was relayed by Seve Avaula Panapa, on behalf of the villages, during a press conference at the Maota o Samoa yesterday. 

Contrary to the decision to remove La’auli from the party, Seve made it absolutely clear that Sasina, Letui and Fagae’e remain supportive of their Member of Parliament – even if it gets to a situation where a by-election is called.

 “If the H.R.P.P. refuses to honour his membership, that does not change anything, he will always be our Member of Parliament,” Seve said. 

He added that there is no need for a by-election.

“That will cost the government money,” he said. “La’auli will return to Parliament (if that happens) because he has the full support of Sasina, Letui and Fagae’e.”

This week, H.R.P.P. Whip, Alai’asa Moefa’auo Moananu, confirmed that the former Speaker of Parliament and Cabinet Minister has been removed from the ruling Party for his decision to vote against Constitutional amendment proposed by the Government. 

Alai’asa said the H.R.P.P’s Executive unanimously reached the decision last month. 

La’auli has always maintained that his future is dependent on his constituents and what they want.  

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Yesterday, Seve claimed that he was speaking on behalf the three villages in support of La’auli. He praised La’auli’s decision to vote against the Electoral Constituencies Bill. 

“The law in question has plucked the authority of the puleono-o-Salafai,” he said. “It appears that he was wounded by his own colleagues from Savai’i. He fought for the sake of Savai’i unaided. He fought for what is best for Salafai.” 

Seve reiterated that the electoral constituencies law is “discriminatory” and “imbalanced.”

“Yet the H.R.P.P expounds that what is good in Upolu is also good for Savai’i and that is not the case.” 

Seve made it clear their constituency supports La’auli’s decision to remain in the ruling Party. 

 “The bylaws are limited within the H.R.P.P. and our M.P. stood up for sake of Savai’i. However if issues ascends as a result of this law, it is recorded that La’auli was against it from the beginning.”  

Another Sasina chief, Polata’ivao, echoed similar sentiments.

“We support La’auli, his decision to vote against the measure is fully supported by the Constituency, and given the ramifications this bill has for Savaii, it was the best decision,” said Polata’ivao.  

Speaking to the media yesterday, La’auli also made it clear he has not resigned and will not resign from the H.R.P.P. 

He added that there is a need for an opposition party to counter the ruling party. 

“There were three parties in Parliament, then two and now just one ruling party. And considering the advantages and disadvantages of what has occurred, I am praying for what is next,” he said. 

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By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i, 15 February 2019

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