5 Jun 2009

Tautua Samoa party files legal action against speaker ruling

11:32 am on 5 June 2009

The Tautua Samoa Party is taking legal action against the parliamentary speaker, Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Lei'atua's, who removed its nine MPs for breaching the Electoral Act.

He had ruled that the nine could not join the party while being MPs.

They have met a lawyer who will be seeking an interim injunction to stop the speaker from calling by-elections.

But sources say the speaker and the Attorney General, Aumua Ming Leung Wai, are meeting today before a public writ will be issued to officially declare the dissolution of the nine parliamentary seats.

Meanwhile, several Tautua Samoa party MPs have said the speaker has overstepped his powers under the standing orders.

They say this is so because he has also interpreted the constitution and the Electoral Act relating to the establishment of political parties which is the prerogative of the court.

The speaker, however, says the party has every right to challenge his decision in court.