Tautua MPs apologize to the Speaker

Speaker Tolofuaivalelei Leiataua

APIA: 18 August 2009 – Seven Members of the Tautua Political Party accepted the Speakers direction to apologize in Parliament this morning for forced entry into Parliament on June 19 despite a notice by the Speaker that they have been disqualified as MPs.

However several MPs tried to question the reasons why and who started the whole issue but were directed by the Speaker to stick to their apologies.

Speaker, Tolofuaivalelei Leiataua, said entering Parliament despite the notice, infringes Section 21 of Parliamentary Privileges and Sections 188 and 189 of the Standing Orders.

Former Speaker Aeau Peniamina said he entered parliament to find out from the Speaker their status as MPs, but not from officers at the door, as their constituencies are listening.

Former Cabinet Minister, Vaai Pau Vaai said he was trying to reason why he should apologize.

The Speaker told Parliament that he has forgiven the Tautua MPs and what has been said and he was not pursuing possible contempt charges against the MPs.

The MPs who apologized include Aeau Peniamina o Falealupo, Paluasalue Faapo 2 o Safata, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi of Faleata, Levaopolo Talatonu fo Gagaemauga Number 2, Mulipola Oliva of Aiga i le Tai, Toluono Feti of Palauli and Vaai Papu Vaai o Vaisigano Number One. The MP for Falealili, Fuimaono Te’i is overseas.

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi the ruling Human Rights Protection Party came to parliament today ready for what may transpire regarding this issue. He also explained that what has been said outside parliament implicating himself as the instigator of the whole issue, were not true. He said he had asked the Speaker inside Parliament whay the MPs were inside the House, and there was nothing sinisterabout it all.

He said he has accepted the MPs apolgies and there was no reason for government to apologize.