Samoa’s Fiame condemns defeated PM Tuilaepa’s ‘perverse’ actions

Fiame Naomi Mata'afa 290521
Samoan Prime Minister-elect Fiame Naomi Mata'afa ... "please think of our people and allow our government to take the reins of power from you." Image: FAST party FB/Screengrab

RNZ Pacific

Samoa’s incoming leader has condemned the actions of the former government and demanded it hand over power.

Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, speaking formally as the country’s elected prime minister, slammed the behaviour of Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and his Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP).

Fiame’s FAST party, which won 26 seats in last month’s election – a majority of one, and the previous ruling party, HRPP, are waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on several contentious issues.

Speaking in a broadcast from FAST headquarters, Fiame said MPs and officials must move from their roles and offices and allow the public service to focus on its work in a business like and orderly way.

She warned the 25 HRPP MPs they must take steps to have themselves sworn in or risk being forced into byelections.

Fiame also said the recent attacks on the judiciary by the caretaker prime minister, Tuila’epa, and some government officials, had severely undermined the rule of law.

She called this “a perversity” and said it would be addressed shortly, “make no mistake”.

‘Severely undermined by corruption, abuse …’
“While all of democracy’s checks and balances and the public officeholders meant to protect us, have been severely undermined by corruption, nepotism and the abuse of power, help is on the way as we move into a time for restoration and revival,” she said.

Fiame, though, praised the previous achievements of Tuila’epa.

She said his legacy was a remarkable one, both nationally and internationally, for which the country is grateful, but it was being undermined by Tuila’epa’s recent actions.

“The more disruptive and disrespectful you become the more that unique legacy is diminished and tarnished, by your own words and your own deeds,” she said.

“Please think of our people and allow our government to take the reins of power from you, peacefully, respectfully and honourably.”

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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