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Samoa's PM downplays mutiny reports

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi [SN file photo]

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, is back to work after being away for nearly three weeks in New Zealand for medical treatment.

The prime minister met with his ruling HRPP caucus on Tuesday and afterwards he dismissed reports of a rift within the party.

Tui'laepa vehemently denied reports of a move to topple his leadership while he was away.

Tuila'epa says he doubted the caucus would make such a move.

He told local reporters on Wednesday that members had laughed when the matter was discussed.

He accused the media of creating stories to sell.

Meanwhile Tuila'epa revealed that he was flown to New Zealand for further medical examination and treatment because of an infection.

He has not given full details but said the last medical report by doctors in New Zealand, before he left on Sunday, was that he was back to 100 percent.

The 70-year-old Tuila'epa is the current longest serving Prime Minister in Samoa and the region.