30 Aug 2005

Samoa's Prime Minister attacks members of international parliamentary grouping after critical report

8:26 pm on 30 August 2005

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele has described two female members of the Inter Parliamentary Union that looked into MP Asiata Saleimoa Vaai's complaint against the conduct of parliament as mentally retarded.

He was referring to Sharon Carstair, a member of IPU's Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians and a member of the Canadian senate, and Ingeborn Schwartz of IPU's secretariat in Switzlerand.

The Prime Minister says foreigners should not be allowed to force their views on how parliament should conduct itself.

Asiata's complaint to the IPU called the Speaker unfair for the way he ran the House, saying he denied equal opportunities to Opposition members.

He was suspended from Parliament for four months after he sent his complaint to the IPU and gave a copy in the Samoa Observer newspaper.

But Tuilaepa says Asiata had smeared Samoa's good name with his complaint.

The IPU criticised the suspension but Tuilaepa says his government rejects the report.