by Alan Ah Mu
APIA: TUESDAY 18 JUNE 2013: The Prime Minister accused a former Speaker of being drunk in Parliament this morning.
Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi made the accusation when the former Speaker and deputy leader of Tautua Samoa Party, Aeau Peniamina interrupted several times.
Before Parliament began discussion of the 2013/14 budget this morning, Tuilaepa delivered a ministerial statement explaining a wide range of Government activities with criticism of the Opposition thrown in.
It clothed an apparent attempt to answer anticipated Opposition criticism in the budget debate to come later.
Ae’au rose to accuse the Prime Minister of abusing the privileges of a ministerial statement by using it to make a general speech.
Tuilaepa said he was disappointed that Ae’au as a former Speaker did not understand proceedings and threatened to move a motion to have him kicked out of the House if again he rose during the ministerial statement.
The statement completed however Ae’au rose to say there were conditions attached to the issuance of ministerial statements and that the Prime Minister had made wrongful use of the “privilege.”
He didn’t get a chance to elaborate.
Tuilaepa rose to accuse Ae’au of being drunk.
“When drunk, Ae’au rises too often in Parliament,” he said.
“It’s stupid,” said Ae’au of the accusation.
Opposition leader Palusalue Fa’apo II tried to address the matter saying it was serious.
But the Speaker stopped any further discussion of the matter urging calm.
The country knows no one (MP) gets drunk in the morning, he said.