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FAST party seeks Court clarity to resolve impasse

FAST leader Fiame Naomi Mata'afa (right) and deputy, Laauli Leuatea Polataivao Schmidt
Source: Samoa Observer

Apia, SAMOA — Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party is seeking clarity from the court to overcome the differed interpretation of the situation from that of their rivals, the deputy leader, Laauli Leuatea Schmidt confirmed.

Speaking on Friday, the Member-elect of Gagaifomauga No. 3 said the Government is in a deadlock due to the Human Rights Protection Party’s claims that Parliament can only convene after the post-election legal challenges are complete.

“We cannot convene Parliament, or transition into Government because Tuilaepa [Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi] and the H.R.P.P. believe that it isn’t until the petitions are done, a new Government can be determined,” he said on the EFKS TV’s Soalepule programme.

“But that’s now how the processes worked before. In the past, right after the general elections, whatever the result is, whatever the number, even if there is one more that puts a party in the majority, Government is formed.

“But we are seeing with sadness, as previously said, the H.R.P.P. and the caretaker Government are simply refusing to leave their chairs.”

The caretaker Prime Minister, Tuilaepa, is the only caretaker leader that remains in his Cabinet office at the Fiame Mata'afa Faumuina Mulinuu II (FMFMII) building in Matagialalua whilst the rest of the ministers have vacated their offices.

La'auli said the impasse has reflected the the need for clarity from the court following the Appellate Court’s decision earlier this month.

Both parties are staking their claims as the nation’s official government following the swearing-in of Samoa’s first elected woman Prime Minister, Fiame, outside Parliament last month under a tent, as Tuilaepa refuses to relinquish power insisting the ceremony was illegal.

The validity of a swearing-in ceremony will be called in court Monday (Samoa time) to determine its legitimacy.

Read more at Samoa Observer