FAST Party

Samoa's Tuilaepa lays police complaint about Fiame

Newsline Samoa reports Tuilaepa has filed an official police complaint after Fiame claimed in a press conference that Tuilaepa attempted to influence judges of the court.

Fiame said Tuilaepa has personally visited the court complex at Mulinu'u attempting to speak to three sitting Supreme Court Judges before key cases in May were decided.

She also accused Tuilaepa of sending his former MPs to attempt to visit judges in their private homes to speak with them prior to court hearings.

Samoa's Tuilaepa accused of desperate attack on rule of law

The call comes from the winner of april's election, majority party FAST, which has raised concern about what it described as "disturbing developments" in recent days.

This includes the HRRP lodging a complaint to the Judiciary Services Comission, accusing the Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese of incompetence.

It comes as the country's Court of Appeal is due to sit on Friday to consider the legality of the adhoc swearing-in of the FAST government in late May

Samoa appeal court to hear FAST swearing in application

FAST had filed an application with the Supreme Court to have it recognise an impromptu swearing-in ceremony of elected members of the new political party.

The Court was yesterday to hear the application and others in opposition.

But an RNZ Pacific correspondent in Samoa Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia said the court decided to refer them to the Court of Appeal.

FAST to ask Samoa judges to recognise impromptu swearing in

At the beginning of last week the Court ruled the ceremony illegal as the Head of State wasn't present.

But it said parliament must sit by this Monday or it could reconsider the previous swearing in conducted in a tent in parliament grounds after newly elected members were locked out of Parliament.

At the time the Fast Party leader Fiame Naomi Mata'afa described the open air ceremony as a legal option, applying the principle of necessity, because all other avenues were blocked.

Samoa's FAST gets Appeal Court clarification it wanted

The court had said a 6th woman is required to satisfy the constitutional requirements but that any decision on this be delayed until after the electoral petition process is complete.

The caretaker HRPP party, which lost the election on April 9th to the FAST Party by one seat, had used this decision to justify delaying a parliamentary sitting.

The FAST Party this week sought a clarification from the Court of Appeal and its decision has now been made public.

Legal progress slow in Samoa political scrap

FAST narrowly won the election in April but is being stopped from assuming power because its rival, HRPP, is refusing to step down until all election petitions are dealt with.

This follows the Court of Appeal saying the constitution requires a 6th woman MP to meet the reserved seats allocation.

It also said any decision on any such appointment should wait until after the various electoral petitions have been resolved.

FAST said HRPP has been using this as justification for delaying the formation of the new government.

Samoa court to rule on constitutionality of FAST swearing in


FAST, which had won the most seats in the April 9th election, organised the swearing in to comply with the country's electoral rules that parliament must sit within 45 days of the election.

But the FAST MPs found themselves barred illegally from parliament after the HRPP leader, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, directed the Speaker to close the doors.

Tuila'epa called the FAST actions treasonous.

The Supreme Court in Apia on Monday heard submissions from both parties and its decision is likely early next week.

FAST holds seat in late Samoan electoral challenge

This means FAST's Magele Sekati Faaui remains as the seat's MP-elect.

The Samoa Observer reports the Chief Justice, Satiu Simativa Perese, delivered the decision dismissing the petition from Gatoloaifaana Amataga Gidlow and the counter suit filed by Magele following the April election.

Magele was accused of six allegations of bribery and treating while Gatoloai was facing five complaints of bribery and treating.

Meanwhile the FAST is seeking a clarification of the way its rival, HRPP, is interpreting the Court of Appeal decision on the 6th woman's seat.

Samoa's FAST wins first disputed seat of April election

The first term elected MP for Gagaifomauga number 2 electoral constituency Vaele Paia'aua Iona Sekuini has secured the seat after the Supreme Court endorsed the withdrawal of an election petition filed by the former HRPP Associate Minister who held the seat, So'oalo Umi Feo Mene.

The counter petition alleging bribery and treating against the petitioner was also withdrawn.

12 of the FAST party's MPs faced allegations of bribery and treating.

Rulings are expected this week of the 28 petitions heard last week.

Facing contempt suit, Samoa's Tuila'epa eyes budget

With the political stand-off now in its 14th week the FAST party, which won a majority of seats in the April election, is waiting on the outcome of contempt suit, along with other legal matters.

Tuila'epa is named alongside the speaker of parliament, the clerk of the legislative assembly and the attorney general for ignoring a Supreme Court order to convene parliament.

In the motion, Tuila'epa is also accused of undermining the judiciary through disparaging comments.