5 Mar 2012

Samoa Speaker stops demolition of old Parliament over valuable pillars

8:13 pm on 5 March 2012

In a rare move, the Speaker of Samoa's Parliament La'aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao has overruled a decision by Cabinet to demolish the old Parliament at Mulinu'u.

The Speaker issued a stop order just moments before the demolition was to start.

He directed the contractor 'not to set foot within the vicinity of the Parliament compound.

Talamua online quotes the Speaker saying that a decision regarding the building should be made by Parliament.

The Speaker wants to save three key pillars in the centre of the building which he regards as testimonials to the struggle Samoa went through to gain independence.

He also says if Parliament gives the green light to demolish it, then he would try to preserve the pillars in a proposed museum.