Three former Samoa ruling Human Rights Protection Party MPs to head to by-election

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The three former Samoa ruling Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP)MPs who resigned from the party to declare themselves independent have had their seats made vacant today triggering by-elections for their constituencies.

The latest development followed an agreement between lawyers for the Speaker of the House, Papalii Lio Masipau and the three Members of Parliament in order for the legal proceedings to be withdrawn.

Presided over by Supreme Court Justice, Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke he confirmed the MPs as of today admitted to a parliamentary charge to vacate their seats, a charge they previously denied.

MP for Faleata no4, Ale Vena Ale, member of Siumu, Tuu’u Anasii Leota and Vaa o Fonoti representative, Mau’u Siaosi Puepuemai exited the HRPP in November last year due to disagreement with the leadership of the party.

Justice Clarke said the consent from the parties in the matter complies with the constitutional requirement and electoral laws that should an elected representative resign from a political party their seat is automatically vacated thus triggering a by-election.

The three Members denied the parliamentary charge from the Speaker on their membership status which led to the current proceedings in the Supreme Court.

The trio left the HRPP and declared they were independent Members after the former ruling party failed to return to power and their leader and secretary were suspended from the House.

The Members were of the view that the baton of the Opposition party’s leadership should have been handed over to other party members who were also capable of leading.

They maintained the former prime minister and HRPP leader, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi’s defiance to accept defeat following the 2021 General Election was a “damaging factor” for the party.

The Members entered parliament under the HRPP flag and in previous parliamentary terms held Government office under the same party.

Ale and Tuu’u were the first to leave the party followed by Mau’u shortly after late last year.

SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS