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Tuilaepa Criticises Hospital Management Amidst Conflict of Interest Allegations, Laauli responds in defence


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In a recent parliamentary session, former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi vehemently criticised the current state of Samoa’s National Hospital, directing his remarks at the CEO of Health, Aiono Prof Alec Ekeroma. Tuilaepa lamented the hospital’s external appearance, describing the front fence as "ugly" and overgrown with weeds, and the front gate as crooked with a hundred yards unfenced. He claimed that such conditions reflected poorly on the CEO’s management capabilities.


"If King Charles were to visit the hospital, the first thing he would see is this mess," Tuilaepa remarked. He suggested that if the CEO were competent, he would address these issues. He further implied that conflicts of interest within the hospital management hindered improvements. "The Minister for Health is not here tonight, but you all know what the problem is," Tuilaepa added.


Heated Exchange in Parliament

The parliamentary session turned contentious when Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao interjected, reminding Tuilaepa and the house that the CEO could not respond as his Minister (Valasi Tafito Selesele) was absent. Laauli accused Tuilaepa of hypocrisy, noting that during Tuilaepa’s tenure as Prime Minister, his son served as CEO of Finance. “You want to talk conflict of interest, that is pure conflict of interest” added Laaulialemalietoa


This accusation led to a heated exchange, with Tuilaepa accusing Laauli of lying and theft. Laauli challenged Tuilaepa to present evidence of his claims, emphasising the numerous court cases they had gone through, which Tuilaepa had lost. " you have tossed so much at me, calling me all the degrading words, I just swallow the pain, "God has blessed me, Tui, I forgive you," Laauli stated.


The exchange between Laaulialemalietoa and Tuilaepa highlights the deep-seated rivalries and unresolved grievances between these two political leaders.


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