Sacredness is about doing what’s right and following the law.
That’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s response to claims that Samoa has lost the sacredness over the selection of the country’s Head of State.
“The most sacred thing to do is to follow the law.... our laws,” Tuilaepa said.
He was responding to comments from Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Va’ai, who said the election of the Head of State, should be put to a public vote.
Last week, Olo told the Samoa Observer the matter should not be the jurisdiction of the Human Rights Protection Party alone.
He believes the matter should be decided by Parliament, not an individual party.
But Tuilaepa said the comments reflect “how stupid he is.”
“The decision on the Head of State’s position is the decision by Parliament,” Tuilaepa fired back.
“This goes to show that he does not read the law nor understand the application of the law.”
Members of Parliament are respective representatives of the constituencies, he pointed out.
According to Tuilaepa, Olo’s lack of understanding reflects poorly on his judgment. He pointed out that H.R.P.P. are Members of Parliament, so therefore the decision was a Parliamentary decision.
“Why did they run for office, when they are unable to make hard decisions? Because his comments clearly indicate that he is unable to make a decision.
“Yet they are respective representatives of the constituencies who voice concerns on behalf of the constituents.
His comments are very childish.
“Another important aspect is that the decision is in accordance with the Constitution. What other sacredness is talking about. The most sacred thing is to do is to follow the law, our laws.”
According to Olo, the nation should be allowed to vote for their Head of State.
In 2015, there was an amendment approved by Parliament that the Head of State would be appointed by the Legislative Assembly acting on the recommendation of the winning Parliament party.
“Within 60 days before the expiry of the term of appointment of the Head of State or as soon as practicable when there is a vacancy in the office of Head of State. The party or parties in Government shall submit to the Speaker, a written Notice recommending the name of only one person to be appointed as Head of State.”
The problem was, when this amendment was approved by Parliament, three members were missing.
“And so three constituencies have not had a say in this amendment, including me,” said Olo Fiti.
“I feel for the Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi. This is the Head of State, Samoa’s most sacred and respected leader, yet it’s being chosen by only the winning Party.
“What about our constituencies? I mean all of the H.R.P.P. constituencies have had their voices heard in the selection, but what about my constituency?"
“Where do we stand in all of this... this is why I think it’s time for a better change.”