APIA: WEDNESDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2014: Member of Parliament for Siumu, Tu’u’u Anasi’i Leota is still an active member of the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP).
This is despite local and overseas media reports that he has left HRPP and is forming a new party.
“I am still an HRPP member,” Tu’u’u confirmed with Talamua in an exclusive interview today.
He did not want to comment further on the issue.
“Let’s leave things where they are at the moment,” Tu’u’u told Talamua.
He said the media has preempted things that have not yet happened.
“We have to wait until the Prime Minister returns from his overseas commitments for a caucus meeting to be called,” said Tu’u’u.
Tu’u’u said Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi has to make a decision over Faumuina Tiatia Liuga as Minister of Finance.
Before he departed for overseas in the weekend, Tuilaepa said that the issue of Faumuina has already been decided on. He also said that there are two MPs who are unforgiving and are still angry over the issue, when they should have forgiven Faumuina already.
He talked only about shortfalls in the Samoa Land Corporation’s projections which were short by $11million of uncollected land leases as a reason not to sack a Cabinet Minister.
He did not talk about other issues such as the Ministers $600,000 vehicle, unadvertised tenders and variations to the SLCs headquarters and its non-working elevator; ‘cronyism’ with a middleman company used by SLC for overseas purchases without following the Government’s due tender process.
These issues were raised by some HRPP MPs in a letter to the PM last May of which the PM said had already been decided on.
A Parliamentary Select Committee that investigated the issues as raised in the Chief Auditors Report recommended that legal action be taken against those involved.
The issues remain a cause of dissatisfaction for some government MPs who now consider the PMs position on the Minister of Finance future as an issue of confidence.
Tu’u’u confirmed that if nothing is done to the Minister, then he will walk away from the party.
“But until then, I am still an HRPP member,” he told Talamua.
He said parliament will resume 18 March 2014 and he hopes the parliamentary committee report will be debated in that sitting.