Samoa police told to remove HRPP members

The Police in Samoa are due to remove opposition HRPP members from Parliament grounds by force.

Despite the police instructing the HRPP to clear out, the opposition members have refused and requested the Speaker come out to address them in the FaaSamoa tradition.

They say this is the way they dealt with protest marches when they were in power.

The Head of State, Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, then arrived was then seen greeting the tearful leader of the HRPP Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

Tuimalealiifano's arrival came after 18 elected but unsworn MPs, including Tuilaepa, were protesting their inability to enter Parliament.

Police had just issued an order for them to evacuate the premises after an earlier verbal altercation.

The Samoa Observer reports Tuimalealiifano is being guarded by Police and was seen heading to the back of Parliament chamber while the session is still continuing.

Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa and Deputy Prime Minister, Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio were seen leaving Parliament five minutes after the Head of State's arrival.

The stand-off comes as the FAST government tabled its first-ever national budget in Parliament.

The Minister of Finance, Mulipola Anarosa Ale Molio'o, said it's a budget aimed at recovery, building resilience and shared prosperity for all Samoans.

Target areas include improving human development, a sustainable economy, the environment, and public works and infrastructure.


Photo supplied RNZ Pacific  Caption: Head of State, Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II (right) embracing former Samoa PM, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi