HRPP members take legal action against Speaker

The Samoa Observer reports that Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese did not accept a request from the plaintiff's lawyer, Aumua Ming Leung Wai, for the issue to be settled as a matter of urgency.

The Speaker's lawyer, Taulapapa Brenda Heather Latu, questioned the jurisdiction of the court on a parliamentary matter and also said since the MPs had been suspended for contempt of Parliament to return to the assembly they should purge their contempt.

Taulapapa asked for time to prepare as her client is currently tied up with Parliamentary procedures.

No path into parliament yet for Samoa's HRPP

There were heated exchanges outside parliament as police turned back former prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and his Human Rights Protection Party colleagues.

The Speaker, Papali'i Li'o Masipa'u, banned HRPP members because he said they refuse to recognise him as Speaker.

Our correspondent Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia said the Speaker has not yet committed to a swearing-in schedule for HRPP.

He thought the Speaker might act at the end of the budget session.

Tuilaepa, who has been highly critical of the courts, is facing contempt charges.

Samoa HRPP party members face contempt of court charges

Several HRPP members or associates including Tuilaepa's deputy, Lauofo Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo, and the former Speaker of parliament, Le'aupepetele Toleafoa Fa'afisi, are among those also charged.

They are alleged to have said insults against the judiciary on TV and social media following a July court of appeal ruling which declared as lawful the adhoc tent swearing-in of the new Faatuatua ile Atua Samoa ua tasi (FAST) party government.

Samoa's Tuila'epa likely to face more accusations of contempt

The Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) leader and former PM Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi is to appear for his role in preventing parliament from convening on 24 May, following the April general election

The attorney general Savalenoa Mareva Betham-Annandale, the former speaker of parliament, and its clerk are also to answer for their parts in the events.

But a lawyer for the now-ruling FAST party said there will be additional citations against Tuila'epa.


Samoa HRPP party loses more seats in election petitions

The Electoral court today delivered two decisions resulting from petition cases which went against the HRRP led by former prime minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi whose government has been replaced by one led by the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party.

The election of the MP for A'ana Alofi number 2, Aiono Afaese Toleafoa, the son of the former speaker Leaupepe Toleafoa Faafisi, has been declared void after the court said it had proven beyond reasonable doubt five charges of bribery and treating against him.


Rally against Samoa judiciary banned from Savai'i village

The march, organised by the opposition HRPP party, follows two on Upolu in the last 10 days.

Village chiefs of Salelologa, the site of a hall planned as the centre of the protest, decided at a meeting yesterday to stop the march from entering their village.

Large rocks and logs have been placed to block the village entrance.

A heavy police presence is in place.

The prime minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa has called for peace.

The decision by the village led to the HRPP party changing its plans.

Samoa's HRPP loses more seats as impasse drags on

The incoming FAST Party government holds 26 seats to the HRPP's 19.

FAST, which won the election but has been stymied in its efforts to assume power by the HRPP, continues to hold a majority of the 51 seats in the parliament.

The caretaker government has lost six seats during the electoral petitions while a further two are to be contested again at the agreement of candidates.

Today, as the electoral petitions continue to come before the court, three HRPP candidates who had won their seats, agreed to resign, ahead of facing the judge, and so force by-elections.

Samoa caretaker govt loses fifth seat in petitions

The Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) has now lost a total of five seats and holds 20 compared to the election winning FAST party's 26.

Two cases were heard today, with another deferred until tomorrow.

Today's case against the Faatuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party's Gagaemauga No 1 seat holder and Deputy Prime Minister-elect Tuala Tevaga Ponifasio was settled amicably, and withdrawn.

RNZ Pacific's correspondent in Samoa, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, says the other was withdrawn but the seat will be contested again.

HRPP loses seat via petition, by-election looms

It means the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) now has 24 seats with FAST on 26 and a by-election to come.

The court ruled the re-elected HRPP MP for Sagaga No.2 constituency, Seiuli Ueligitone Seiuli, guilty of 13 bribery and two charges of treating.

The court also found the petitioner and former HRPP MP who ran in the general election as an independent, Mauailaivao Patelesio Ah Him, guilty of 10 bribery and one treating charges.

There will now be a by-election in Sagaga No.2 and both the petitioner and respondent have been barred from running.

FAST and HRPP talks remain deadlocked

The talks were an attempt to break the deadlock between both parties and they did not end well.

A statement issued by FAST leader, Fiame Naomi Mataafa said the talks have reached an impasse.

“I wish to issue this statement to let the country know of where we are at this time,” Fiame said.

Fiame and her party maintain that FAST holds the majority of 26 seats to HRPP’s 25 seats following the 9 April general elections and their members were sworn in on the 24 May 2021.