The Speaker of the House, Honourable Papalii Lio Oloipola Taeu Masipau, has issued an official statement in response to a Facebook video clip circulating on social media that suggests he is being influenced by a Cabinet Minister.
The video clip referred to is a tik tok created from the Parliament of Samoa’s live coverage of Parliamentary proceedings. The creator of the tik tok catches the end of the Hon Minister of Agriculture’s intervention where Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao Fosi Schmidt seemingly mouths a message to the Speaker.
The creators of the tik tok then add a Samoan song with the lyrics “Taofi” to the video clip, suggesting that the FAST party Chair is asking Mr Speaker to “stop” HRPP’s Lauofo Fonotoe Pierre, whose voice is heard asking for a chance to speak.
The Speaker has taken offense and yesterday Hon Papalii issued a statement to correct and put to rest any suggestions that, “a Cabinet Minister is controlling and ordering how I carry out my roles and responsibilities as the Speaker of the House.”
The Speaker goes on to say that he has seen the video clip and is further offended by the Leader of the Opposition using the clip to make false accusations towards the Speaker.
“I have witnessed that some have used other technological means to compile a video clip on Facebook which conveys a false impression of how the Speaker conducts business within the Chamber,” states Hon Papalii Lio.
“Although this video clip is unverified and untrue, nevertheless, the Leader of the Opposition who is currently suspended has used this to make false accusations against the execution of the functions of the Speaker and one of the Ministers of Cabinet.”
“This act is deceptive by all means,” adds Papalii Lio.
The Speaker reminds the public that Parliament proceedings are streamed live on various platforms including the Legislative Assembly’s live Facebook page, “so that everyone can witness how the Speaker conducts debates in the Legislative Assembly.”
The Statement by the Hon Speaker is published below in full: