Party returned to Petesa after 2 hours

Two hours after supporters of the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) converged on Mulinu’u as Samoa’s new parliament sat, party leader Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi and his members have left the scene and returned to their party's headquarters.

The gathering of the supporters on the main road into the peninsula at around 9am Tuesday, with the former Prime Minister and 17 of his unsworn Members leading from the front, was in breach of a ban that the Ministry of Police and Prisons announced late Monday in response to threats that were made against Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) Government Ministers.

Despite the ban Tuilaepa and his Members led the crowd of supporters, which numbered close to 500 people, towards a police cordon set up some 200 meters from the Parliament precinct. 

But they were stopped by the Police, who then appealed to the crowd and their leaders to maintain the peace, while reminding them of the Speaker’s decision not to swear-in all H.R.P.P. Members when the House sat on Tuesday.

Following a brief confrontation with the Police the party’s supporters moved back to the H.R.P.P. Petesa headquarters, while the former Prime Minister and his Members were brought chairs to sit under a breadfruit tree in full view of the Parliament that was already in session.

Tuilaepa and his Members listened to the radio, which was switched on in his Toyota Land Cruiser and he scribbled notes on a pad as he listened.

At around 11.15am the former Prime Minister gave a speech in Samoan and then proceeded to shake the hands of all policemen and women manning the security corridor set up on the main road before getting in his truck to return to Petesa.

The former Prime Minister then addressed his party's supporters at the H.R.P.P. headquarters with the party's unsworn 17 Members seated behind the lectern listening. 

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