22 Jul 2009

Samoa's Parliamentary speaker rejects call to step down

7:14 am on 22 July 2009

Samoa's Parliamentary speaker, Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Lei'ataua, has rejected a call to resign.

A member of the Tautua Samoa party, Palusalue Fa'apo II, called for the Speaker's resignation after the Court overturned his ruling to dissolve nine parliamentary seats of the Tautua party.

Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Lei'ataua says there is nothing in Samoa's constitution which requires a resignation or termination of the Speaker if he or she makes a wrong decision.

He also pointed out that no court judge can be sacked or asked to step down if any of their decisions are dismissed or overturned by the court of appeal, something that also applies to a Parliamentary speaker.

Tolofuaivalelei was away from the country for two weeks attending international meetings following the court ruling that quashed his decision against the nine MPs of Tautua Samoa party.

He dismissed speculation that he ran away when his ruling was defeated in court.

However he says he respects and accepts Chief Justice, Patu Falefatu Sapolu's decision.