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Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi

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Name  Lealailepule Aiafi

Role  Politician

Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi is a Samoan politician and former member of the Legislative Assembly of Samoa. He is the founder and interim chair of the Tautua Samoa party.

Lealailepule became an MP in August 2006, representing the Faleata West (Faleata i Sisifo) parliamentary constituency. He had previously served as chief executive of the Samoan airport authority, and won election with 795 votes, 165 more than his rival, the former minister of police.

Since his election, Lealailepule has campaigned against the planned government sale of the public broadcaster Radio 2AP. He has also, since the formation of Tautua Samoa, expressed doubts about the ability of the police commissioner to function in office following a damaging Commission of Inquiry Report, and called for the release on parole of former cabinet minister Toi Aukuso, jailed in the 1990s for the murder of Minister of Works Luagalau Levaula Kamu.

In November 2008, Lealailepule was one of twelve (later whittled down to nine) MPs from the Samoan opposition to form a new political party, Tautua Samoa. Like the other Tautua Samoa members, Lealailepule registered as an independent MP to avoid the constitutional requirement to contest a by-election on changing parties. The party was in January 2009 ordered to formally notify the Speaker of its existence and membership. Establishing the party, Lealailepule expressed his intention to form a stronger and more effective opposition to the ruling Human Rights Protection Party. In May 2009, Speaker Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Lei'ataua revoked the parliamentary membership of all nine of the party's MPs, on the grounds that joining a party after being elected "breached the provisions of the Electoral Act and the parliament standing orders". The expulsion was later overturned by the courts.

In March 2010, Lealailepule was deemed to have resigned from Parliament under anti-party-hopping laws after refusing to deny his support for Tatua Samoa. He was defeated in the resulting by-election.

References

Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi Wikipedia


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