Samoa’s former Speaker issues notice defying Supreme Court ruling
Apia, SAMOA — Samoa media outlets are reporting that the former Speaker of the House, Leaupepe Toleafoa Faafisi under the letterhead of his former office issued a public notice calling off Monday’s opening of Parliament despite orders from the Supreme Court to revoke the Head of State’s eleventh hour declaration to suspend the sitting.
The late Sunday statement was distributed by the caretaker Government's Press Secretary’s Office, and in it the former Speaker confirmed his decision to postpone the Parliament until a further proclamation has been made by the Head of State.
Here is the full text of the statement:
PUBLIC NOTICE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SPEAKER
In compliance with the Proclamation by the Head of State issued on Saturday 22nd May 2021 and as the continuing Speaker of the Legislative Assembly under section 30 of the Legislative Assembly Powers and Privileges Ordinance 1960, I hereby make the following notice:
1. The official swearing in of Parliament scheduled for tomorrow, Monday 24th May 2021 is now postponed until a further proclamation has been made by the Head of State;
2. Further Notice will be announced by the Office of the Clerk to officially inform Hon Members of the Legislative Assembly, as well as invited Guest for the State Opening of the XVIIth Parliament.
It was signed Leaupepe Taimaaiono Toleafoa Faafisi
ThIS latest notice from the former Speaker follows a special Sunday sitting of the Supreme Court that declared the Saturday night proclamation by the Head of State, Tuimaleali’ifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II to cancel Parliament’s oppening on Monday as "unlawful".
Chaired by Chief Justice, Satiu Simativa Perese the Court issued an interim order that any purported revocation of proclamation for Parliament to convene within 45 days is inconsistent with the judgment of the Supreme Court and the Constitution of Samoa.
The media statement issued on Sunday night by Leaupepe, yet again, puts the caretaker Government of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi on a collision course with the country's Supreme Court.