Sacked MP says HRPP protecting only the party’s interests

APIA, SAMOA – 08 JULY 2020:  Member of Parliament for Faleata West, Leatinu’u Wayne Fong says he has been sacked by the Human Rights Protection Party for expressing his views in the interests of his constituency.

Leatinu’u follows the path of former Speaker, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polata’ivao who was finally sacked by the party in May this year and both are now Independents in the House.

The leader of the Human Rights Protection Party, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi confirmed with the media this week, that Leatinu’u Wayne Fong was no longer a member of HRPP.

“He is sacked from the party after the caucus meeting last week,” he said.

He also said Leatinu’u did not enter Parliament to help the constituency, but for his own benefit, “and HRPP does not need members that betray the party.”

“But the MP told the media that he has not done anything wrong other than speaking up in the interests of his constituency of which the party leader did not like.”

“There are issues like the wharf of which I need to voice the concerns of my constituency as we are directly affected but the leader did not like,” Leatinu’u said.

He also threw doubt over “a party that is supposed to protect human rights but is only interested in protecting only the party’s interests.”

Tuilaepa also referred to Leatinu’u’s association with independent MPs Olo Fiti Vaai and former HRPP member La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polata’ivao as a “party of three.”

But Tuilaepa’s explanation that the sacking was a caucus decision, surprised several party members who learnt of Leatinu’u’s sacking during the registration of the party’s election candidates on Tuesday this week.

But the party leaders had been displeased with Leatinu’u’s views on his social page that went against the party line on various issues.

Recently, a cabinet minister addressed the issue in a letter handed to Leatinu’u inside parliament. Leatinu’u made his feelings known when he held the letter up, crushed it in his hand and dropped it to the floor and walked away while the minister was watching.

He also seconded a motion by La’auli to have independent MP Olo Fiti Vaai table documents to support his claim of a US$20million grant from the World Bank to help agriculture and fisheries that he was questioning where the grant is shown in the 2020/2021 Main Budget.

An unhappy Tuilaepa then referred to the “party of three” and Leatinu’u responded that he supported the motion as he wanted to see if the documents were real or not and that he was still a member of the HRPP.

After Tuilaepa announced the MPs sacking this week, Leatinu’u said the party members are being suppressed to speak up for their constituencies especially when their views go against those of the party leader.

He also said the party that is supposed to protect human rights is only interested in protecting the interests of the party.

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