Australian P.M. thanks Tuilaepa for leadership

The Australian Prime Minister has thanked Samoa’s former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi for his leadership in Samoa and the region.

Scott Minister took to Twitter on Monday to express his appreciation for the contribution that Samoa's longest serving head of Government has made. 

“Thank you to outgoing Samoan PM Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi for his longstanding leadership and service to the people of Samoa and to the wider Pacific family, and for further strengthening Samoa-Australia ties,” Mr Morrison said in a tweet late Monday.

Earlier on Saturday, Mr Morrison tweeted that he was honoured to speak with Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa on Saturday morning.

“Australia sends warm congratulations & wishes you every success. I look forward to working with you on a relationship that is important & strong,” he tweeted. 

“As a Pacific family we will face the challenges of COVID together.”

The Court of Appeal ruled last Friday that the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T) party is the new Government of Samoa, bringing an end to the three month running political stalemate.

Samoa's highest court found that a Government swearing-in ceremony which the party convened on the lawns of Parliament on 24 May was in fact legally binding.

That conclusion had the effect of immediately installing F.A.S.T as the nation’s new Government and declaring that it had been so for nearly two months, with the H.R.P.P. unlawfully occupying the office of the nation’s “caretaker Government”.

On Saturday, the Australian Government issued a statement acknowledging the decision of the Court of Appeal which recognised the validity of F.A.S.T party’s swearing-in.

Former Prime Minister Tuilaepa has vowed his Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) will “give 500 per cent” as he conceded defeat from April’s election on Monday afternoon and prepared to take on the role of Samoa’s newest opposition party.

In an emotionally charged press conference at the H.R.P.P.'s Petesa headquarters, attended by some 200 supporters and party members, the veteran politician assured that they will be relentless in their scrutiny of the new Government led by the F.A.S.T. party.

“Leaders of F.A.S.T. here is the Government,” said Tuilaepa followed by a round of applause from the crowd.

“The H.R.P.P. will observe and will do the good work to lend our support and work to the best of our ability to oppose you by 500 per cent all the time.

“Everytime parliament meets we will remain firm in our service by upholding the dignity of elected Members of Parliament that were chosen and sworn to the Almighty God they will justly carry out their duties to remain in parliament all the time it meets…but not neglect parliament and leave to do other things.”

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