New Minister mystery

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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WHO WILL IT BE?: Fa'asootaula Pati Taulapapa is the Associate Minister. Will he replace La'auli Leuatea Schmidt? P.M. Tuilaepa is still waiting for a

WHO WILL IT BE?: Fa'asootaula Pati Taulapapa is the Associate Minister. Will he replace La'auli Leuatea Schmidt? P.M. Tuilaepa is still waiting for a "divine whisper."

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has a new Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. Who that is remains a mystery.

And he is not telling anyone either, still awaiting “the divine whisper.”

“Up until today at the close of government business, the Prime Minister is not giving out any hints on who will succeed former Minister Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao who resigned recently to await the outcome of a criminal charge of deception filed against him,” a statement from the Press Secretary said last night.

“Tuilaepa indicated that he has already drafted the announcement speech but he awaits the divine whisper.”

Members of the public though will not have to wait for long.

They should find out who new Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries is at 10am when the official announcement is made before he is sworn in at the Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi building. 

Cabinet Ministers told the Samoa Observer that the matter was discussed during the caucus meeting on Tuesday.

A source said the Prime Minister had suggested that the matter be put to a caucus vote but other members of the Party reminded that it is H.R.P.P policies that Cabinet Ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister. 

As a result, the appointment rests with Prime Minister Tuilaepa, according to reliable sources.

 “The Cabinet members wanted the appointment to be made by the Prime Minister and so the identity of the new Minister has yet to be revealed,” said a Cabinet Minister.

Last week, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao Fosi, resigned from his ministerial portfolios.

But he is adamant that he is innocent.

“I declare that only God knows the truth,” he said. “I claim my innocence and I can categorically state I am clean of all the things that I have been accused of.”

La’auli made the statement during a press conference held in his office where the senior Cabinet Minister and former Speaker of Parliament announced his resignation.

Last week Tuesday, La’auli was charged with allegedly obtaining money by deception. His wife and a business partner were also charged. 

The charges are in relation to an on-going court case over a nonu company involving another senior member of the ruling Human Rights Protection Party and Associate Minister of Cabinet and Prime Minister, Peseta Vaifou Tevaga. 

Acting Assistant Police Commissioner, Sala’a Moananu Salala’a, said they are scheduled to appear in the Supreme Court on 18 September 2017.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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