New Govt unlawful: Tuilaepa
The leader of the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P) remains adamant that last Friday's court ruling which confirmed Fiame Naomi Mataafa as the nation's Prime Minister was "unlawful".
Former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi was speaking speaking on a live video feed from party headquarters, during an H.R.P.P. meeting with chiefs from the Salelologa village on Tuesday morning.
He said he has not changed his view on the legitimacy of the Court of Appeal's ruling, stating that the newly elected Government violates the supreme law of Samoa.
"I have given my blessing to the Government who has been decided by the Supreme Court which is unlawful and unconstitutional," he said to chiefs from Salelologa.
"That is the important thing that this political party is carrying."
Tuilaepa was making reference to a decision by the Supreme Court, handed down late last month, which ruled that an impromptu swearing-in ceremony held by the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party on 24 May was unconstitutional.
After the case was heard in the Court of Appeal last Friday the presiding judges instead found the ad-hoc ceremony, conducted on the lawns of Parliament after the chamber was ordered to be locked down by the former Speaker, to be legally binding and declared that F.A.S.T. has been Samoa's legal Government for nearly two months.
"The Government is unlawful and unconstitutional. You have mentioned words from the Bible: 'Whoever knows what shall be done but does not do it, he is sinning'," Tuilaepa said..
"In front of who? In front of the Almighty God who Samoa is founded on.
"Not only that we gave our blessing because this is also what some Church leaders want, not the Church as a whole. But for some, we must resign; the Government has been elected and this Government is from God. How do they measure this belief? There is one thing where the countries elders go to when we talk about a Government elected by God; we measure it from the decision that was made from the elections."
Tuilaepa repeted a claim that the H.R.P.P. were the true winners of the 9 April election. He said three parity groupings had fielded winning candidates H.R.P.P. and his party hsd secured the most votes.
(F.A.S.T. did not field candidates in seven electorates, which limited the absolute number of votes they collected comparfed to the H.R.P.P., which was represened in every seat, often by more than one candidate).
"Three important political parties that ran in the election, first it’s the H.R.P.P., second is FAST, and third is the Independent party," he said.
"So what are the results of the election? The first result is what our elders say it’s from God, and what were the first results? It came out as H.R.P.P. 25, F.A.S.T. 24, and 2 from Independent."
"For those who are preaching the Good Word from the podium, the result that was given from God through the people of the country in the first result is H.R.P.P. was elected by God."
Tuilaepa says that his party is not afraid to speak up because they are standing for the truth.
"And we are not afraid to speak up the truth. Why? Because the person knows the truth but does not do it, he is sinning in front of the Lord. But what’s happening now? They preach from the podium that FAST is elected from God. How do they know what God wants? " he said,
"The election has officially spoken and the Government records remain until forever, that the H.R.P.P. through the people’s votes, the F.A.S.T. party] is second, and thirdly the Independent candidates."
"And the Government has been elected from unrighteous ways, God will remove it from his own ways. We have accepted defeat but how about the conscience that was given by God to the people to lead them right from the beginning of the creation to the time when Jesus died for our sins."
He also mentioned that the only reason he gave his blessing to the new Government was to keep the peace within the country but that did not mean he accepted the reasons behind it
Earlier this month the former Prime Minister and chiefs from Salelologa and Tapa'au were engaged in a verbal spat, after the villages pleaded with the Prime Minister to step down. Other constituencies followed, bringing the total number to five.
But in remarks that the Salelologa chiefs took to as offensive the former Prime Minister suggested those speaking out were unintentional; puppets of the F.A.S.T. party:
“Those are the ones who gather and drink ava, then have been persuaded to take videos and make those statements. Those men have been brainwashed," he said.