Caretaker Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi is unfazed about being challenged by a candidate of Lepa carrying the Tautua Samoa Party flag.
If anything, Tuilaepa said he feels sorry for the candidate. He accused the Tautua Leader, Palusalue Fa’apo II and former Cabinet Minister, Le Tagaloa Pita, of inciting him to run.
Recalling the many previous elections, Tuilaepa paid tribute to the wisdom and foresight of his constituents in allowing him to be unopposed.
“The only election we had was the first two terms when I had just started,” remembered Tuilaepa.
“After that the constituency saw that their M.P. was a very happy person who did not do bad things. “That was when the constituency loved me and for seven elections (out of ten) they agreed there would be no election.”
Asked about his opponent, Tuilaepa said it is a waste of time going to the election if he will not win.
“If you know you’re entering the election, you go knowing you will win or your votes will be close (to winning),” said Tuilaepa.
“But it’s a waste of time going and it's shameful if you’re not going to win. The elders of the village (Saleapaga) said he doesn’t have any village contribution (monotaga). Because I’m not a matai from the village of Saleapaga…that is a decision they (village) have made; there is no reason for anyone to run if they have made no village contribution.”
According to Tuilaepa, the candidate will only get into trouble for not fulfilling the village contribution requirement if he is still planning to run.
“Which means by Friday, if this remains, then the law will be effective to remove those who have not met the requirements under the law.
“This is the reason why he was disqualified in previous elections because he wanted to run but didn’t have monotaga which it seems means that he had no intention of running, but he was pushed to do so.”
The Prime Minister said Palusalue and Le Tagaloa are the main instigators.
“I sit here and feel sorry for the son because he does not understand the decisions from the constituency. He has been blinded by Palu and Tagaloa who are professors at moving around.”
Speaking of Le Tagaloa, Tuilaepa said wherever he goes, everyone talks about him. He compared him to an owl.
“If you recall, these guys used to sit next to me on my right side and the left,” continued Tuilaepa. “They are very impatient which is why they left. I heard the way Le Tagaloa was singing, blaming this side for this and that but those are the things he did (when he was here) but I don’t want to turn on him.” Tuilaepa compared the things he knows about Le Tagaloa to a steamer (cruise ship).
The steamer, he said, is full of things that this old man did when we were here. But I refuse to answer to him.
“You know what the other old man says, I don’t want to answer back; people might have a difficult time deciding who is more stupid so I leave it like that.”
Turning to Palusalue, Tuilaepa also accused him of bestowing titles at a committee hall.
In defending his title that was bestowed two weeks ago, Tuilaepa said it was a decision made by the paramount chief.
He made it clear that such title comes with responsibility where the title holder has to serve his family.
“Our titles were bestowed on 30th January and the paramount chief decides who gets the title, how much you have to contribute…Palu must have forgotten about that.”
Tuilaepa used as an example a case where he would want to bestow the title of Palusalue and many other orator titles.
“The majority of the money you put on your left pocket while on the right is just enough to give to the constituency,” said Tuilaepa.
“The difference between the titles is the paramount chief of our family is not running but Palusalue is.
"So he decides the 26th January would be the date and held it at the committee hall and not at his house in case a ghost tells Tuilaepa.”
Tuilaepa added he is shocked with the allegations from Palusalue and yet he had titles bestowed on the 26th January as part of his campaign.
“This is the kind of person that if Jesus was to ask those who have not sinned to cast a stone, Palu would be the first to do so even though he has so much on his head…that is the kind of person he is.”