Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi should step down.
So says the Shadow Minister of Finance for the Tautua Samoa Party, Afualo Dr. Wood Salele, who believes Samoa needs a new leader.
“I think it’s time for him to step aside and enjoy whatever is left for him and enjoy his life,” Afualo said. “The country will go on. We have to remember we (M.P.s) are only instruments, we are only tools."
“I would also like to remind the Prime Minister and the H.R.P.P about what the Bible says. It is very clear in Proverbs 29:18 that “where there is no vision, the people perish.”
According to Afualo, while Prime Minister Tuilaepa and his administration have done a lot for the country, they have run out of new ideas.
“What we are seeing time and time again (from the government) is nothing new. It’s just the retouching of old policies that they have had for many years.”
An economist by profession, the Member of Parliament for Salega made the comments in response to Prime Minister Tuilaepa’s claim that the Tautua Samoa Party’s election battle plan is weak. The Prime Minister had also accused the Tautua Party of copying the government’s indicatives.
Afualo, however, disagrees.
“This is a new vision and a new thinking,” he said of the policies they announced last week, which focuses on equal opportunities for Samoans right across the country.
In assessing the performance of the H.R.P.P during the past thirty plus years, Afualo said they have done a lot to develop the country in terms of infrastructure.
But they have failed when it comes to social equality and people development.
“If we to sit down and statistically analyze the thirty plus years (of H.R.P.P rule) then Samoa should not have been like this. It should have been a much better Samoa.
“That’s the point we have been trying to make because all these years if you look at the trend of foreign reserves, since the Prime Minister keeps referring to it, it’s just a matter of making sure the Central Bank manages that.
“But we have got more foreign exchange now through remittances than any other time. That’s because our people have been very loyal.
“Every year our families provide Samoa with over five hundred million tala in terms of remittances. That’s a lot of money.
“Now if you look at the balance of payment, when you take away remittances from the equation, then Samoa’s economy is nothing.
“I think if Tuilaepa was a responsible leader then he would give credit to families from overseas who have been helping Samoa.”
Afualo said the Tautua’s election plan is not just “any imaginary thoughts.
“We have thought hard about this over the past five years and we know that this is where the nation should be.”
“I want to remind the public including the Prime Minister and those who keep on asking how are we are going to finance all of this that it is a five year term and we have laid down the core vision for education, health and other sectors.
“The idea is that when we come into power, we will start developing policies because they have to be put into law and through that it gives us enough time to look at all the avenues under which the government is managing because a lot of these are not transparent.
“Having said that, we do believe that there is enough finances being circulated within the economy to fund this vision. As we move forward into the five year term, we will make sure that in the second or third year, this will come into fruition and that it will benefit the people of Samoa and not Tautua.”
As for Tuilaepa rubbishing their plans, Afualo said this was hardly surprising.
“He is quite irresponsible at times,” he said. “I think most of the time he calls us stupid but he really doesn’t know that he is the stupid one.
“If he was a wise person, then he cannot speak and belittle others because the wisdom from God would stop him. But what we have seen with him is that there is no wisdom at all.
“My question then is where is his wisdom from? It’s definitely from the devil. It seems to me that he is the devil’s advocate but we still respect him as a leader.”