Tautua claims rift between PM and Speaker
Statements attributed to the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Maliegaoi and House Speaker La'aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polat'aivao have been interpreted as a major HRPP rift by the Opposition Party. The apparent ‘argument’ stems from statements both have been making on a local FM Radio station.
It seems the issue has to do with the recent enforced closure of some village schools by the Samoa Parliamentary Advocacy Group for Healthy Living. SPAGHL is chaired by the Speaker and the opposition leader Palusalue Faapo II is a member.
Speaker La'auli said, on radio, his committee is legally empowered to close schools if they are in a poor state and if facilities are deemed to be unhygienic.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa, on the radio, seems to be saying that what SPAGHL has done is not proper and that this kind of decision can only be made by an order of Cabinet.
“That is based on a report from that school presented to the Cabinet and the Cabinet’s role is to review and decide whether this school is to be closed or not,” Tuilaepa said on radio. “The committee does not have the right to close a school, it’s the Cabinet’s role to make a decision based on the advice from each school.”
“That small power which enters the brain and ends up with whoever is roaming around and coming up with such decision to close a school, it’s just not right,” Tuilaepa said on air but stopped short of naming who it was he was referring to.