25 Feb 2014

Breakaway Samoa MPs reminded of party hopping rule

7:44 pm on 25 February 2014

The speaker of the legislative assembly in Samoa has warned that it is illegal for any MP to leave their party and join, or create, another party during a term.

It's believed five members of the ruling HRPP, including two former cabinet ministers are breaking away and setting up a new party.

The former Minister for Revenue, Tu'uu Anasi'i Leota, is so far the only one to make public his intention to break away from HRPP.

But the speaker, La'aulialemalietoa Polataivao Fosi Schmidt, says MPs know very well that the law disqualifies any MP that party hops, and forces an election for their seat.

You can't form another party, coming out of another party, and form a new party, you can't do that, that's what the law says. You can only go back to your constituency and have your new election for the coming back in, otherwise you have to stay as an independent for the rest of the term.

La'aulialemalietoa Polataivao Fosi Schmidt says he's unsure whether to take news of a break-away party seriously, as he has not been officially informed of this.