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Samoa’s Tuila’epa sued for contempt

By RNZ Pacific

Samoa’s caretaker prime minister is one of four top officials served with a motion accusing them of contempt of court.

It was filed by the prime minister-elect, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, in the latest twist in a two-month political crisis.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, left, and Fiame Naomi Mata'afa
Photo: RNZ Pacific / Tipi Autagavaia

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi is named alongside the speaker of parliament, the clerk of the legislative assembly, and the attorney general.

The FAST party, which won April’s election, accuses the four of contempt for ignoring a Supreme Court order to convene parliament, at which point FAST should have been sworn in as government.

They were forced to hold an ad-hoc swearing outside – the legitimacy of which is also subject to legal challenge.

In the motion,Tuilaepa is also accused of undermining the judiciary through disparaging comments.

Meanwhile Fiame said she continues to be patient as the deadlock continues.

She said she’s prepared to wait however long it takes.

Fiame told the Pacific Media Network that Tuilaepa’s behaviour highlights why she broke away from his party to join FAST, “of Tuila’epa’s government moving away from the rule of law, wanting to conduct business in a very dictatorial and autocratic way. So, we have to be patient and work through the institutional and legal paths that are available to us.” .

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