5 Mar 2021

Samoa's Fiame Naomi Mata'afa calls PM's claims ridiculous

10:30 am on 5 March 2021

Samoa's former Deputy Prime Minister says allegations of treason and breaches of standing orders are a 'bit of an election ploy.'

Samoa's Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa

Samoa's Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa Photo: Dominic Godfrey / RNZ Pacific

The Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, ordered a Commission of Inquiry to look into the behaviour of Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, and three other MPs, La'auli Leuatea Polataivao Schmidt, Faumuina Wayne Fong, and Olo Fiti Vaai.

They are all members of the Opposition Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi, or FAST Party.

Tuila'epa said the MPs had been campaigning when they should have been in parliament.

But Fiame said she was not concerned by something that was "quite ridiculous really".

"I have yet to get the formal motion.

"There are a few really confusing things in there, especially the fact that the motion has been moved within a parliamentary set up that was dissolved 12 hours later. So we are not quite sure about the validity of that, because usually the business of parliament lapses [on dissolution]"

Fiame also said that Commissions of Inquiry were typically ordered by the Government Executive but the Prime Minister had used parliament to process this one.

She said it appeared to be political gamemanship.