Controversial Bills

Samoa's deputy prime minister quits cabinet over controversial bills

Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, who is also natural resources minister, quit on Friday after meeting with constituents over the three bills, which would alter the power of the land and titles court.

She said she could not bring herself to support them, which prompted the prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, to last night tell state radio she would no longer be welcome in the party.

"I don't mind is [she] doesn't approve [of the bills]," Tuilaepa told radio 2AP. "That is her decision which means she is no longer with the party."

Another HRRP MP in Samoa speaks out against govt bills

Afoa Fale'ulu Mauli has agreed with his Palauli West constituents and has come out against the government's suite of three bills before Parliament.

The MP, in a video on social media from the meeting with local matai, said he did not care if the party sacked him because of his stance on the bills.

A matai at the meeting said they wanted to hear the MP voicing their opposition in Parliament.


Protesters make presence felt over controversial bills in Samoa

Unasa Iuni Sapolu said the vehicle-based procession went 30 kilometres from Faleolo Airport to parliament.

They were raising concerns over proposed law reforms many say are unconstitutional and unwarranted.

"People must stand up for their freedoms and rights which are going to be affected by these three bills," said Unasa.

Because of Covid-19 distancing measures the protesters took to their cars and trucks.

Unasa said despite not being well publicised, there were over 50 vehicles with more than 100 people when they reached parliament.

Former Samoan AG outlines support for controversial bills

The Samoa Law Society claimed the government was seeking to pass three bills that would undermine the country's Constitution by removing the judicial primacy of the Supreme Court.

But in a statement distributed by the government, Lemalu Herman Retzlaff, said the purpose of the changes was to deal with the issue of access to legal justice for those who lose an appeal at the LTC.

He said at present once the LTC decided an appeal - any family that lost their case, had no further court to advance to.