Speaker Questions FAST Leaders’ La’aulialemalietoa title at swearing in

The FAST Party Chairman, La’auli Leuatea Polata’ivao being sworn in Parliament this morning.

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA: The Speaker of Parliament, Leaupepe Toleafoa Faafisi was not ready to accept the FAST Party Chairman when he was sworn in as a Member of Parliament this morning.

The Speaker questioned the MPs name after La’auli read out his name as La’aulialemalietoa in his oath.

As the member proceeded to sign the oath, the Speaker said he was not accepting the Member as his name registered in the notice of appointment signed by the Head of State, was La’auli Polata’ivao Leuatea.

The Speaker also said the member is liable to charges under privileges and proper behaviour.

The Member then read his name as La’auli Polata’ivao Leuatea which was then accepted by the Speaker.

Toleafoa said it was to adhere to the terms of the oath of a Member of Parliament.

The former Speaker was sworn in after he came back in a recent by-election and carrying the flag of his new political party FAST. He had been using the chiefly title La’aulialealietoa extensively which was an honour from the Malietoa family to the village and the village bestowed the title on him.

The village chiefs who attend the swearing ceremony in parliament this morning, later clarified the status of the La’aulialemalietoa title with confirmation from a member of the Malietoa family. (See other story)

In a media interview last week, the Prime Minister questioned the La’aulialemalietoa title carried by the FAST Party leader.

Many sitting MPs use several matai titles, despite the official titles they used to enter parliament in through the elections.

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