H.R.P.P.’s political power struggle

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

The good news is that Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi is reportedly recovering well. And if all goes according to plan he should be back in the country on Sunday. 

The progress of his recovery, without a doubt, is music to the ears of a nation that had been praying for his swift healing after the news broke about his medical evacuation to New Zealand two weeks ago. 

Up until now, we still have not been told officially about the P.M.’s condition and what led to his evacuation. 

All the government has said is that it is a “precautionary” medical trip based on the advice of doctors at Moto’otua. 

Let’s hope that is the case. 

But it would seem odd that a “precautionary” trip would involve a medivac, wouldn’t it? But then that doesn’t matter now.

What’s more important is that Prime Minister Tuilaepa is making good progress in terms of his recovery and God willing; we should see him again in action next week.

It’s something Acting Prime Minister, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, can probably hardly wait for. After a couple of weeks in P.M. Tuilaepa’s big boots, he can now probably understand the pressure that comes with the role and why Tuilaepa is sometimes cranky like he is.

You see, on top of having to run the administration of a nation, Tuilaepa’s other role within the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P) was just as critical in terms of keeping it together. And it only needed him to be away from his throne for a couple of weeks for the kingdom to begin to unravel.

It surfaced on Sunday when Member of Parliament, Faumuina Wayne Fong, revealed an underground power struggle for the Prime Ministership position.

The Member of Parliament told the Sunday Samoan there are certain members of the Party who have been campaigning for votes – should something happen to the Prime Minister.

“I find it absolutely disgusting,” Faumuina said. 

“This is all happening while our Prime Minister is in New Zealand undergoing a medical check up. How can they think like that? These people are driven by the hunger for power they will stop at nothing to get what they want.”

Faumuina went as far as to confirm that he had been approached by a certain party member.

“I declined the offer based on so many factors. But the most critical for me is the fact that these people are power hungry people who are self-centered. They will do anything to get to the helm.

“I call it the small party made up of small-minded people. Here they are rallying up other people to select a leader when our leader is overseas getting his medical check up. We should be up in arms praying for our leader and not do this while he’s on his bed being sick.”

Well Faumuina makes a lot of sense. 

But just don’t say that to another H.R.P.P member and Faleata’s Member of Parliament, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, who immediately challenged him to cough up the names of the so-called members of the H.R.P.P who are conspiring to take over the Prime Ministership role.

“This is not right,” Leala said. 

“As a member of the H.R.P.P., there’s nothing going on in our party nor is there any underground jostling for the Prime Ministership position among certain members as mentioned by Faumuina in the paper.”

Leala added if Faumuina thought he was doing Tuilaepa a favour, he clearly wasn’t. 

“He’s adding more pressure on the shoulders of our leader. So for the Prime Minister, he should be assured that nothing is happening unless Faumuina Wayne reveals who he is talking about.”

Really? Nothing? 

Well obviously Acting Prime Minister Papali’i thinks there is something. That’s why he is on a “mission” to get to the bottom of it before Prime Minister Tuilaepa returns.

“As far as I know, these are just speculations of a small party who are small minded,” Papali’i said.

“I am not really concerned about them and their motives. I am meeting with Faumuina Wayne this afternoon (Wednesday) because I need to know what is going on. 

“I’m meeting him for information to be relayed to the Prime Minister when he calls and I will tell him what is going on. But for me I cannot comment on what is going on because I don’t know who are behind this and like Faumuina said they are small-minded people.”

Now this group of “small-minded people” phrase seems to be tossed around a fair bit these days. So who are they?

“I mean I hear speculations here and there from other members of Parliament and I think it’s time the identities of people behind this should be revealed,” Papali’i said. 

“I will meet him this afternoon and then I will get those names and report back to the Prime Minister.”

Perhaps Papali’i should go one step further. He should also tell members of the public about who is in this group of “small-minded people” so all doubts can finally be removed. 

What do you think?

Stay tuned!

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