17 Mar 2008

Samoa Democratic United party leader question speaker's suspension

2:16 pm on 17 March 2008

The leader of Samoa's Democratic United party or SDUP, Asiata Sale'imoa Va'ai, has been suspended from parliament's proceedings.

The move came after he questioned the credibility and fairness of decisions by the speaker, Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Lei'ataua.

Asiata asked why the road traffic bill, originally first on the order paper for works, had been moved to be the second item for discussions.

All MPs were given copies of the paper work in which the proposed controversial legislation was given priority.

But the speaker suspended Asiata for disobeying his orders to sit as he speaks.

Speaker Tolofuaivalelei told reporters outside parliament that the suspension was the result of the MP disobeying his orders as well as challenging his rulings.

Asiata was not able to speak against the road traffic bill, which has now been referred to the bills committee of the Ministry of Transport.