Protest convoy won't start in Salelologa: village matai

Close to a hundred Human Rights Protection Party members have arrived in Savai'i for their vehicle convoy protest, but Salelologa matai say they will not allow their village to be used as the starting point. 

The village held a meeting Wednesday morning and agreed that they will oppose plans by the opposition party to start off their protest program in Salelologa. 

The village's High Chief and Spokesperson for Faasaleleaga No.1, Taotua Ioane Matamua, told the Samoa Observer on Wednesday that the H.R.P.P. is not welcome to carry out their plans in the village. 

Initially, the party had planned for the protest to start from Salelologa at the Apita o Pisaga Hall. 

However, Taotua said they will not allow that to happen, and reinforced that position after an urgent meeting was convened on Wednesday morning where they reached a consensus on their decision.

Close to a hundred members of the former ruling party are at the Savai'ian Hotel to prepare for the vehicle convoy protest initially scheduled for Wednesday.

It is believed the vehicle convoy protest will be similar to the one that was held in Upolu last Friday and involved close to 200 vehicles which after the round-island trip converged on Mulinu'u.

Former prime minister and now Opposition Leader Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi says the party's supporters are protesting what they claim is the "disintegration" of Samoa's Constitution, after the Appellate Court ruled last month the H.R.P.P. Government had been illegally occupying office after the 9 April general election.

The Court subsequently installed the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party as the legitimate Government of Samoa and Fiame Naomi Mata'afa as the nation's first female Prime Minister.

Tuilaepa continues to falsely claim that the powers of the Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II – which he has tried to invoke to nullify the April election and declare fresh polling only to be overturned by the Court – were beyond the jurisdiction of both the Supreme Court and Appellate Court.

• This is a developing story more to come...

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