Divisions emerge in the Samoan PM's party
A controversial ruling Human Rights Protection Party MP, Tu'u'u Anasii Leota, is ignoring the Prime Minister's call for him to quit the party.
A controversial ruling Human Rights Protection Party MP, Tu'u'u Anasi'i Leota, is ignoring the Prime Minister's call for him to quit the party.
Tu'u'u, who is the Associate Minister for the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture, had questioned the credibility of the government over a proposed amendment relating to the National Provident Fund's death benefit.
This prompted the Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, to call the Siumu constituency MP's actions in parliament stupid, and told him to resign.
Our correspondent, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, told Leilani Momoisea that he spoke with Tu'u'u after the incident.
AUTAGAVIA TIPI AUTAGAVAIA: He said that he's not going to leave the party. His comments about what he feels that is right, that's his freedom, to say what he wants, he thinks is right in parliament. He's not gonna leave the party but his concern was that the way Tuila'epa is leading the party. He's very concerned with the way he leads the HRPP. That's his concern. He also said what he said in parliament and what he said in the media, it's all supported by 20 MPs of the ruling party on his side. He didn't name those 20 MPs. Apparently the HRPP had a caucus meeting on Monday afternoon. According to the source that I spoke to he has been given one more chance.
LEILANI MOMOISEA: Right. So he's not gonna step down so that would leave it to the party to kick him out essentially if they don't want him anymore?
ATA: Well the call from the Prime Minister is for him to step down from being a member of the ruling HRPP party. But he's said he's not gonna leave the party because the HRPP is a good political party. His only concern is the way the Tuila'epa has been ruling the HRPP party.
LM: He's been causing trouble for a while in the party though hasn't he?
ATA: Yeah he has been causing trouble in the party. Outspoken about some of the issues being discussed in parliament especially the Office of Parliament Committee who was further investigating the outcome of the Chief Auditor's investigation into all ministries of the government and corporations. That report from the Office of Parliament was also on the agenda yesterday. In parliament from government to that recommendation for a criminal investigation in those people, including the Minister of Finance, was rejected.
Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says it was the debating of that particular issue that also resulted in the leader of the opposition party, Palusalue Fa'apo, being removed from parliament by the speaker on Tuesday.
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