Samoa's HRPP leader suspended indefinitely from Parliament

The leader of Samoa's Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP), Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, and the party's secretary Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi have been suspended indefinitely without pay from Parliament.

A formal complaint by Deputy Prime Minister Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio was lodged against the two senior MPs claiming they had brought Parliament into disrepute when they were convicted by the Supreme Court on contempt of court charges.

Chairman of the Privileges Committee Valasi Tafito Selesele presented a report with the recommendation of suspension for an indefinite term to Samoa's parliament on Tuesday morning.

Moving the motion to accept the report, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa told Parliament a seed of double standards had been planted by the Human Rights Protection Party over many years in power and it must be weeded out.

Deputy opposition leader, Fonotoe Lauofo Pierre Lauofo, and HRPP members had urged the Speaker to defer the debate on the report until Tuilaepa was able to attend to defend himself.

The former prime minister is self-isolating for seven days after arriving from an international trip on Sunday.


Photofile RNZ Pacific  Caption: Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) leader, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi