Third by-election now looming in Samoa
Apia, SAMOA — Another by-election is looming in Samoa after a further two MPs agreed to drop their electoral petitions, this time in the Falealupo seat.
The caretaker HRPP government's electorate winner and the FAST party candidate have agreed to drop claims of bribery and treating against each other.
FAST's Fuiono Tenina Crichton withdrew his petition against Leota Tima Leavai on condition she would not contest a by-election, reports the Samoa Observer.
It follows a similar case yesterday in the Sagaga No 4 seat where both candidates dropped their petitions and agreed to return for a by-election.
The withdrawal of Leota in Falealupo reduces the number of women's seats in the new parliament to four — now two short of the constitutional threshold.
It means the outgoing HRPP government has 22 seats to FAST's 26 with three by-elections to come and parliament due to sit by Monday at the latest.
But the caretaker prime minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi remains fixed on parliament not meeting unless all 51 MPs are present.
Such an approach risks contempt charges from the Supreme Court.
NO GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN TUILAEPA PREDICTS
The caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi has assured the public in a special address Tuesday night that there will not be a shutdown of Government services as there are provisions in the law to continue funding public services despite the Parliament not sitting.
Speaking on the eve of the new 2021/ 2022 fiscal year through a special announcement made through the Government’s official Facebook page, Tuilaepa said on Tuesday night that under the current circumstance with the political impasse between the two dominant parties, there are legal provisions under the law to avoid a total government shutdown like in other states facing similar challenges.
In a bid to allay fears over the monitoring of public funds with the Parliament yet to convene to debate the new fiscal year's budget, Tuilaepa said Samoa’s Audit Office will continue its “monitoring and auditing of the national treasury.”
(Source: Samoa Observer)