Two retiring Cabinet Ministers appointed to the Council of Deputies

Le Mamea Ropati Mualia and Tuiloma Pule Lameko appointed as members of the Council of Deputies

BY Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA: WEDNESDAY 27 JANUARY 2016: Parliament has appointed 2 senior Cabinet Ministers to the Council of Deputies during parliament session today.

The 2 Ministers are Le Mamea Ropati Mualia who is currently the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries.

Le Mamea is representing the electoral constituency of Lefaga.

He has already informed Parliament that he will not contest the constituency’s seat in the upcoming general election.

Le Mamea served under the late Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana as the Minister for Education but later switched political sides, and joined the opposition to form a coalition government in 1986.

He led the Opposition Party for 2 election campaigns before the Opposition fell apart due to infighting and left parliament without and opposition party.

Le Mamea returned to the Human Rights Protection party in 2011 and got a cabinet portfolio.

The other senior MP is Tuiloma Pule Lameko, from the electoral constituency of Falealili.

Tuiloma first entered Parliament as a representative of Safata district before switching to represent Falealili, and is currently the Minister for Inland Revenue.

Both Ministers are the longest serving MP’s in Parliament and were members of the group that founded  HRPP.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi said there was a need to fill the vacant seats in the Council of Deputies office.

The office of Council of Deputies should have 3 members, however, only Afioga Tuimalealiifano  Va’aleto’a Sualavi 11 is holding office.

The seats have been vacant for some time, and Tuilaepa said, they have been assessing and monitoring people holding high positions in the Government suitable for the 2 seats.

“It is hard for His Highness the Head of State or the sole member of the Council of Deputies to attend to Government matters, when they have to be overseas,” said Tuilaepa.

He said when both the Head of State and Council of Deputies are unavailable, it is the Chief Justice that steps in to fulfill that role, and that is why these 2 seats must be filled.

As the ruling party, the HRPP caucus that selects the Council of Deputy members, did not have to look further for suitable candidates.

In caucus today, HRPP gave the appointment to the most senior MP’s.

Le Mamea and Tuiloma will be sworn in to their new posts next week.

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