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HRPP MPs in Samoa have been sworn in

Opposition MPs in Samoa have been sworn in after a court ruling paved the way for them to be allowed into parliament.

Leader of the HRPP, Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi, leads the swearing in of HRPP MPs in Parliament
Leader of the HRPP, Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi, leads the swearing in of HRPP MPs in Parliament. Photo: Parliament of Samoa

By RNZ Pacific

The speaker, Papali’i Lio Masipau, had banned elected members of the opposition HRPP from attending this week’s parliament sessions and refused to swear them in.

On Thursday however, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the HRPP saying the speaker was obligated to swear in its elected members.

Papali’i banned the opposition MPs for what he saw as their continued denial of the legitimacy of the FAST government.

HRPP members were protesting their inability to enter Parliament
Earlier in the week, the HRPP MPs were banned from entering parliament. This morning, all MPs were sworn in. Photo: Supplied

But the court order, handed down by chief justice Satiu Simativa Perese, said the speaker had an obligation to administer the oath of allegiance under standing order 14.

It ordered the speaker to carry out the obligation forthwith to fulfil the requirements of Article 61 of the Constitution.

Ahead of the swearing in ceremony

Former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi shook hands with his successor Fiame Naomi Mataafa as her Cabinet Ministers and Members arrived for Friday’s session of the House.

The Samoa Observer reported Minister of Works Transport and Infrastructure Olo Fiti Vaai was the first to greet the members of the rival party who were already seated on the right side of the House.

His gesture was received with a hug from Tuilaepa who stood up and crossed the floor to greet his successor Fiame.

Samoa's Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mataafa .
Samoa’s Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mataafa. Photo: Parliament of Samoa

It was a relief from those inside the House to see the leaders of the country finally meeting halfway, smiling and hugging.

Our correspondent said people in the gallery stood up and clapped upon this sight.

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