By Lagi Keresoma in Apia
Samoa’s Court of Appeal has dismissed the appeal by the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) against the Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned the appointment of a sixth woman Member of Parliament, Ali’imalemanu Alofa Tu’u’au.
This paves the way for the sitting of Parliament (Fale Fono) on Monday as proclaimed by the Head of State.
The decision by the panel of three judges – Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tula Warren and Justice Fepulea’i Ameperosa Roma – was delivered by the Chief Justice, Satiu Simativa Perese.
Proclamation has been issued be Head of State to convene Parliament on 24th May 2021.
Viia le Ali’i ua maua se iuga lelei.
Now to the oath ceremony. pic.twitter.com/reeyjA7WGn
— Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson (@lagipoiva) May 21, 2021
- The applications by the first and second appellants for a stay of execution of the judgment of the Supreme Court dated 17 May 2021 are dismissed;
- Costs are awarded in the amount of $5000 against the first and second appellants in favour of the respondents, to be paid within 30 days of the date of judgment.
The appellants were Ali’imalemanu Alofa Tu’u’au and the Office of the Electoral Commissioner.
The respondents were the Faatuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST Party) and Alataua West MP Seu’ula Ioane, who defeated Alimalemanu in the April 9 election.
After the decision was delivered, FAST deputy leader La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao paid tribute to FAST’s legal team and upport from across the country.
He also acknowledged HRPP and caretaker Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.
The Head of State, His Highness Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II has issued the writ to declare the official opening of XVII Parliament on Monday next week. https://t.co/D9iYHWXs3X
— Samoa Observer (@samoaobserver) May 21, 2021
‘We’re after all one family’
“Despite the differences in our beliefs and difficulties we faced as we went through these challenges, we after all are one family,” said La’auli.
He also acknowledged the Head of State for convening Parliament (Fale Fono) on Monday.
As seen in the court house since last Monday, after every FAST victory in court, the supporters burst out in song, hymns and prayers of thanksgiving outside court.
The victory now confirms the FAST party’s majority in Parliament and launches major evelopments in Samoa’s modern political history:
- Samoa will now have its first female Prime Minister in Fiame Naomi Mataafa as the FAST Party leader; and
- The FAST victory unseats one of the longest serving Prime Ministers, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi who held the office for 22 years in his Human Rights Protection Party’s (HRPP) 40-year rule.
Lagi Keresoma is a Talamua Online journalist.