By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – 21 OCTOBER 2020: The Parliament Speaker, Leaupepe Toleafoa Faafisi announced his resignation from politics and the Human Rights Protection Party during the party’s caucus meeting yesterday .
HRPP leader and Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi confirmed that Leaupepe will continue to serve out the rest of his term as Speaker until Parliament dissolves in January 2021.
“My official resignation as Speaker will be declared in Parliament,” Leaupepe told caucus.
At 74 years old, Leaupepe believes it is time to step aside and let someone else take responsibility for the district. As for him, he will spare time to enjoy his retirement with his grandchildren.
A senior HRPP member, Leaupepe represented the electoral constituency of A’ana Alofi No.1. and had served in Parliament for 30 years.
He served as the Speaker three times, as a Deputy Speaker and as a Cabinet Minister.
Tuilaepa acknowledged Leaupepe’s service, especially his knowledge of the Standing Orders that guided his work.
His parting remarks and advice to Members of Parliament was to be “honest.”
“Your honesty will cover everything, such as respect for the country, the public servants, the law and the constituency you serve,” he said.
Son to continue political legacy
As he resigns, Leaupepe’s son, Toleafoa is stepping in to continue his father’s political legacy. According to Toleafoa, “he is ready.”
He said for anyone to take the political challenge, they must understand the district and what they need and must first serve family, village and district before the Government and country.
“My son has served the district for more than 20 years and I believe he understands what he is in for,” said Leaupepe.