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Alleged tampering of Parliament’s Live Stream Coverage Investigated

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 21 OCTOBER 2022: An internal investigation has been launched into why the live stream coverage of Parliament’s sitting on Tuesday 18 October was turned off during the presentation of the Special Parliamentary Ethics and Privileges Committee Report.

“Yes we have launched an investigation because it is not the first time this has happened and we will get to the bottom of this,” Parliament Speaker, Papali’i Li’o Ta’eu Masipa’u told Talamua this afternoon.

The issue was raised by the Prime Minister after she was informed that the livestream on Parliament’s facebook page was not working.

The Speaker told Parliament that the system was working well in the morning for the Head of States swearing in then he called for a recess while the technicians checked and ensure the system was working.

The Speaker said it is the normal practice with the Legislative Office to livestream Parliament’s proceedings on their Facebook page other than live broadcast on Radio 2AP and the Government TV Channel.

He emphasized that the livestream coverage of Parliament proceedings is very important to our democratic society and this has been carried out by the National Radio 2AP for many years.

“Now with technology, Samoans locally and abroad can watch and listen in to Parliament deliberations by way of social media,” he said.

Papalii is saddened by the fact that it happened while the whole country was tuning in to a very important report and in particular, the constituencies of the Members of Parliament concerned, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi.

He pointed out that this also happened in the past especially when there was a heated debate in Parliament and a speakers microphone is turned off and gave the public a one sided version of the debate.

Papalii also referred a recent incident of the same nature during a Parliament sitting when the FAST party was already in Government.

The Speaker said the investigation will determine whether it was a human error or a technical fault.