Former Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi has raised concerns over the appointment of the Deputy Speaker, Auappau Aloitafua Mulipola as Chairman of the Parliament Inquiry.
They are tasked to investigate the process of the three controversial bills, including the Lands and Titles Act 2020 given there are four different versions.
This was revealed in a letter signed by Tuilaepa to the Speaker of the House, Li’o Papalii Taeu Masipa’u dated the 9 March, 2022 and obtained by Radio Polynesia.
The new LTC ACT revamps the entire judiciary system, making the LTC independent. The issue at hand led to the suspension of the LTC matters, pending the inquiry.
The leader of the Human Rights Protection Party, Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi has cautioned that during the initial consultation of the said bills, Mulipola was vocal against it when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee that conducted consultation on the three bills at that time.
Tuileapa cited good governance principles of transparency and accountability which FAST claims is the foundation of their party. He also threatened to take legal action if the Speaker does not heed their request.
However the Speaker has rejected the request noting that he does not have the authority to make such changes when it has already been approved by Parliament.
In his letter that was publicly released to Tuilaepa, the Speaker expressed his disappointment as it was evident that Tuilaepa continues to undermine his leadership. Adding the Deputy Speaker is more than qualified to chair the committee.
Furthermore Li’o told the leader of the opposition that no one will threaten him and the respective Parliament.
Tuilapea told the Speaker the LTC Acts in question has already been approved by 2/3 of Parliament, but there are “minor mistakes by the staff” that can be addressed by way of Parliamentary orders to make the necessary changes and shouldn’t impact the principle law of the Acts.
But the Speaker would’t budge and said that Tuileapa should be careful not to minimise the gravity of the mistakes by the staff that was under his portfolio at the time he was Prime Minister.
The speaker was referring to the office of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly.
Regarding threats by HRPP to take legal actions, the Speaker urged Tuilaepa to tread carefully as this will question the ability of the respective Members of Parliament.