Prominent lawyer Unasa Iuni Sapolu is the leader of the Samoa First Political Party (S.F.P.P.).
She was previously the legal counsel for the Samoa Solidarity International Group Global Initiative and visited villages to raise awareness on issues affecting ordinary citizens. But it was in the villages, says Unasa, where people came forward to sign a petition requesting she and her colleagues establish a political party.
“And due to popular demand people personally requested and signed a petition allowing the registration of the Samoa First Political Party, with the Election Commission Officer.
“Who are we to deny the demand voted by the majority of members of the public we encountered during our educational programs in the villages,” she added.
The lawyer was later voted the party leader after the establishment of the S.F.P.P. and the party machinery is currently in the process of producing its manifesto and collating data on issues that affect Samoans.
“As of now, we are going through the process of formulating our manifesto and gathering information on the issues that affects our people on the daily basis, such as the debts, the leasing of customary land, the high cost of living to name a few.
“To date more than people 200 who have signed our manifesto for the general election upcoming,” she added.
Unasa said they plan to launch a website soon to enable the public to access more information on the mandate and purpose of the party.
“We take in numerous concerns from the people who have signed on and we take note of their concerns and we also look to the media and conduct further research on our own, of what is being reported, such as the huge debts we owe and these are the issues we intend to address as a party.”
The party’s board has 10 members with most of them Samoans who previously lived abroad and according to Unasa enjoyed the fruits of democracy ‘without barriers’.
“Unlike Samoa, we are operating under a one-party governance and that is not a healthy. “We need a variety of parties to have a healthy governance Government.
“We are in the age information, where numerous of our youth are well informed and they are very innovative in terms of brainstorming and making the plans for the future,” she added.
But a lot of work needs to be done to get more women to enter politics, says Unasa, and youth should not fall for cash and alcohol during the voting period.
“We want to encourage more women to get involved in the political arena as it is a place for every one. Also we want to conduct seminars on how the youth needs to overcome the enticement of voting with cash and alcohol in the villages as it’s an issue.
“The Chiefs in the village councils at time of consultations indicated their surprised with their constituents in the turn out of the vote and to find out later it’s the young voters who have been bribed with money and alcohol.”
The party secretary is Feagaimaalii Toomalatai-Uta'ile'uo and the treasurer Sa'u Autaloto Brown. Feagaima’alii besides being the party secretary is a founding member of the party.