Different name, same man

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

Here’s a twist folks. Just when we thought Parliament was going to be all one-way traffic with the ruling H.R.P.P obliterating the Tautua Samoa Party last Friday, well back surfaced a certain loveable rogue we haven’t seen in a while.

The man who needs little introduction has returned to Parliament with a different name representing a different constituency but he still spits the same venom that won him widespread applause in his early days.

You might have guessed by now that we are talking about Olo Fiti Vaai. 

To be honest, we thought he had disappeared for good last year, when he lost the Gagaemauga No. 2 seat due to a technicality in Parliamentary laws. 

At that time, the man known as Levaopolo Talatonu, made the brave decision to switch constituencies – and for a while we thought he would join the H.R.P.P gravy train – or so many reports said.

Alas, that’s not the case – as we now all know.

With the Tautua Samoa Party barely breathing after Friday’s disappointment, Salega East’s new Member of Parliament is a welcomed reprieve. Love him or hate him, give the man some credit for having the guts to step in to help a dying cause. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Olo could have easily gone the other way.  Or he could have just ignored the Tautua’s plight and distant himself from the Tautua carnage.

But the man with a different name has come to the rescue of the badly wounded underdog. 

And from what we’ve seen and read already, it’s like he never left.

Speaking to the Sunday Samoan, Olo said he was saddened by the fate of the Tautua Samoa Party and that he would be happy to join the Tautua M.Ps, Aeau Peniamina Leavaise’eta from Falealupo and Ili Setefano Ta’ateo of Aana Alofi No. 2. 

 “The saddest thing about the result of the elections is that there is no Opposition,” Olo lamented. “This is what I have been saying all along that candidates should be looking out for the best interest of Parliament rather than the political parties.”

According to Olo, he has been approached many times to join the H.R.P.P.

“But I will not follow that trail simply because of the benefits and perks,” he said. “I will stand by my principles and follow my heart because I know I have all the weapons I need from God to do battle.”

Well there is declaration, ladies and gentlemen. Perhaps Olo knows something about certain people within the H.R.P.P ranks we don’t. Either way, we can see the logic in what he is saying. It’s comforting to know there are still people who can stand by their principles – even if they are merely politicians.

Now looking ahead, Olo said he is looking forward to his role as the “third musketeer” to take on the almighty government.  

It’s not going to be easy. Three against 44 or more is an unfair fight. 

But it’s a fight nonetheless; there will be some sort of resistance. 

According to Olo, there is a need to educate members of the public about the important role of the opposition party in a democracy. He recalled that during the last Parliamentary sitting, many members of the public had criticised the opposition’s stance on a number of issues.

 “They had complained about the opposition then and now they have voted out most of the Opposition members,” he said. 

“It is a concern because the situation we have now is whatever the government wants, they will do it without hesitation and without any opposition.” 

Olo even found time to pay tribute to the former leader of the Tautua Samoa, Palusalue Fa’apo II as well as congratulate Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and the H.R.P.P for their resounding victory.

As for the future, Olo has made his intentions quite clear.

“What I want to say to them is don’t all come at once,” said Olo. “They can come one by one and we will take them from there on.”

Like his new name, it’s going to take some scaling for the H.R.P.P to keep him quiet. Welcome back Olo, and do take it easy on them!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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