The 29-19 Parliamentary Vote to Suspend Samoa’s Longest Serving PM for 2 Years

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Translated from the files of #FaaSamoa. The recommendation by the Parliamentary Privileges and Ethics Committee to suspend the leader and secretary of the opposition Human Rights Protection Party was put to vote on Tuesday evening 18 October 2022.

Present in the Maota were 28 members of FAST and 20 members of HRPP.

The final result saw 29 MPs vote for the 24-month long suspension, while 19 voted against.

Opposition leader Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi called for a visible vote, where MPs would stand from their seats to indicate their decision.

However after some debate as to how the vote would proceed, the Speaker of the House called for a vote by secret ballot.

Speaker Papalii Taeu Masipau said this way, Members of Parliament would be free to vote whichever way they felt was the honest and right thing to do (faamaoni).

All 48 Members of Parliament present at Tuesday afternoon’s session were called.

The MPs walked down one by one to cast their vote into a box which had been checked beforehand.

MPs who voted

1) Fiame Naomi Mataafa

2) Tuala Tevaga Ponifasio

3) Laaulilemalietoa Polataivao Fosi Schmidt

4) Olo Afoa Fiti Vaai

5) Leatinuu Wayne Soialo

6) Valasi Luapitofanua Toomaga Selesele

7) Faualo Harry Schuster

8) Matamua Vasati Pulufana

9) Seuula Ioane

10) Toelupe Poumulinuku Onesemo

11) Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster

12) Auapaau Mulipola Tafua

13) Manuleleua Paletasala Tovale

14) Masinalupe Makesi Masinalupe

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15) Toomata Nora Leota

16) Tagaloatele Pasi Poloa

17) Niuava Eti Malolo

18) Tea Tooala Peato

19) Fepuleai Fa’asavalu Faimata Su’a

20) Laumatiamanu Ringo Purcell

21) Seuamuli Fasi Toma

22) Fesolai Apulu Tuigamala

23) Fuiono Tenina Critchon

24) Agaseata Valelia Peto

25) Magele Sekati Fiaui

26) Maiava Tito Asafo

27) Faleomavaega Titimaea Tafua

HRPP

28) Tuilaepa Sailele Malilegaoi

29) Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo

30) Tapunuu Niko Lee Hang

31) Sala Fata Pinati

32) Lautafi Fiu Selafi Purcell (Member of Privileges and Ethics Committee, Did Not Sign Recommendation)

33) Loau Solamalemalo Keneti Sio

34) Faimalotoa Kika Stowers (Member of Privileges and Ethics Committee, Did Not Sign Recommendation)

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35) Tu’uu Anasii Leota (Member of Privileges and Ethics Committee)

36) Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi

37) Lenatai Victor Faafoi Tamapua

38) Peseta Vaifou Tevaga

39) Leaana Ronnie Posala

40) Sulamanaia Fetaiai Tauiliili Tuivasa

41) Ale Vena Ale

42) Fua’ava Sulamalemalo Amataga

43) Lupematasila Tologata Tile Leia

44) Aiono Tile Gafa

45) Maulolo Tavita Amosa

46) Aliimalemanu Alofa Tuuau

47) Faagasealii Sapoa Feagia’i

48) Foisala Lilo Tuu Ioane – Independent who joined FAST after elections.

When the MPs had cast their votes, the Speaker asked Deputy Prime Minister Hon Tuala Tevaga Ponifasio and Deputy Leader of the opposition Lauofo Pierre Lauofo to witness the counting of the votes.

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The Speaker of the House Papalii Lio Taeu Masipau then read out the result as being 29 in support of the recommended 24-month suspension, and 19 against.

Tuilaepa and Lealailepule are asked to leave Parliament House after the vote.

The Speaker announced that the suspension was effective immediately, and asked Samoa’s longest serving politician Hon Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi and veteran MP for Faleata 3 Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, to remove themselves immediately from the Maota.

“Ua faamaonia le faaiuga le komiti, ma o le asō lava nei e aloaia ai le faaiuga a le komiti, o lea e tapā ai e le Fofoga Fetalai le Sui Faipule o Lepa ma le Sui Faipule o Faleata ina ia la’ua tuua loa le fale fono i lea lava taimi..”

A Member of Parliament since 1981, Samoa’s longest serving Prime Minister then walked around and shook the hands of a few HRPP MPs before taking his leave.

HRPP party secretary and veteran MP for Faleata, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi joined Tuilaepa as they walked out of Parliament to begin their two year suspension.

Parliament’s Privileges and Ethics Committee members:

1. Hon Valasi Luapitofanua To’ogamaga Tafito (Minister of Health) to represent the Prime Minister.

2. Hon Lautafi Sio Selafi Purcell to represent the leader of the opposition because Tuilaepa is implicated.

3. Hon Tuuu Anasii Leota – HRPP

4. Hon Faimalo Kika Stowers – HRPP

5. Tofa Ale Vena Ale – HRPP

6. Tofa Seuamuli Fasi Toma – FAST

7. Afioga Magele Sekati Fiaui – FAST

8. Afioga Masinalupe Makesi Masinalupe – FAST

9. Afioga Agaseata Valelio Tanuvasa Peto