Samoa AG and Clerk of Parliament suspended

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Samoa’s Attorney General, Savalenoa Mareva Betham-Annandale, and the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Tiatia Graeme Tualaulelei, were each suspended from their duties as of 20 August.

They have been suspended for two weeks, until Friday 03 September 2021.

“The Attorney General has been suspended from her post, on the basis that I have formed a preliminary view that I do not have trust or confidence in her ability to discharge the functions of that Constitutional office,“ Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa said in a statement.

“Accordingly I have set out my reasons for that view in a letter informing her of her suspension, and have offered her the opportunity to respond and offer any submission or explanation by Monday 30th August 2021.

“Once a response is received, I will have regard to the material provided by the Attorney General, before making a final decision on her continued tenure of a role which lies at the heart of lawful and orderly government in Samoa, and in most democratic countries of the world,” said the Prime Minister.

“The Speaker has also advised me that the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly has been suspended from his duties for two weeks, which was effective Friday 20 August 2021, and has been advised, that the Speaker has formed a preliminary view that he has no trust or confidence that the Clerk can undertake his functions in supporting and administering the country’s Parliament or the duties required of him under Standing Orders, and has also provided reasons for this view.

“The Speaker has also offered the Clerk the opportunity to respond to those reasons by Monday 30th August before coming to a final view,” the statement ended.

Both the Attorney General and the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly face contempt of court charges for failing to carry out a court order to convene Parliament within seven days of the court decision in July this year.

SOURCE: TALAMUA ONLINE/PACNEWS