Tautua Samoa Leader, Palusalue Fa’apo II, has challenged caretaker Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, to put his leadership on the line.
He has asked that the Prime Minister allow the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P) to take a vote on whether they still want him as leader.
Palusalue issued the challenge yesterday, speaking during the Tautua Party’s weekly press conference.
“If he is so confident that he is appointed by God, let him put it to the test,” Palusalue said.
“If he is brave he would let the party vote and decide on who will lead.
“The outcome of the vote will confirm what he always says about God’s appointment. I mean party members will listen to the Spirit and the Spirit will tell who their new leader should be. Then we will really know what is going on.”
Palusalue also denied reports that the P.M is running unopposed from Lepa.
Palusalue said the Tautua Party has a candidate from Lepa and he is ready to take on the Prime Minister. He did not reveal who the candidate was during the press conference.
According to Radio New Zealand International, Palusalue had confirmed that the candidate is Tu'ula Kiliri.
The Tautua Samoa candidate had registered his nomination for the 2011 General Election.
But he was unable to run against the Prime Minister and had been disqualified under the village service or monotaga requirement after a legal battle in Court that year.
This time Palusalue told the RNZI their candidate is qualified after a sworn declaration before a lawyer and the Electoral Commissioner.
Tu’ula could not be contacted for a comment.
In the meantime, the Opposition leader said that if the Tautua wins the election, they would make sure that the term for a Prime Minister is limited to two Parliamentary terms.
He argued that Tuilaepa has been the Prime Minister for too long and that he has become ignorant and arrogant.
He reiterated his claim that Tuilaepa has become so powerful he did not care about breaking the election laws when he handed out gifts to his constituency during a title ceremony two weeks ago.
Afualo Dr. Wood Salele supported Palusalue on the call for a limited term for the Prime Minister.
He said Samoa should follow other Commonwealth nations that limit the terms for the Prime Minister.
“We are a democratic country and we should follow other countries that have a limit of three terms,” he said.
“At the moment, our Prime Minister can hold up to five terms unlike the United States where it's two terms and China which is one term of ten years.
“If there is any wisdom left for the H.R.P.P. they should consider this. For people to suggest that there is no one else that can lead the country is not true.
“One will pass away and another will stand up…but we cannot have that with the dictatorship we have now. They say it’s democracy but the way things are run isn’t, it’s the opposite.”
It was not possible to get a comment from Tuilaepa yesterday.