Two terms doesn't work in Samoa

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia ,

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Tautua Samoa Party leader, Palusalue Fa'apo II

Tautua Samoa Party leader, Palusalue Fa'apo II

The plan to limit the Prime Minister’s time in office to two terms is nothing new.

That’s the response from Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, to plans by the Tautua Samoa Party to place a limit on the Prime Minister’s term of office, if they win the General Elections.

“It’s nothing new,” Tuilaepa said. “The only question is whether the country is prepared for such a scenario. 

"Samoa is not like America where there are millions of people who can enter Parliament and give people lots of options to choose from.”

According to Tuilaepa, the Tautua’s idea is borrowed from somewhere.

But it doesn't work in Samoa.

“In America, you can have two terms,” he said.

Referring to the President of the United States, Tuilaepa said their system is that the President is not just the Head of State, he is also the Prime Minister. 

“That’s the big difference between them and us,” he said. 

“The positions are held separately here.”

Tuilaepa added that the Tautua Party’s idea is not even being used in nearby countries like New Zealand and Australia.

“New Zealand and Australia are not like that. I think in the case of NZ its three terms, the same for Australia. So there is no limit.” 

According to the Prime Minister, when it comes to such matters, it is up to Parliament to determine from time to time.

“If we reach that stage, then that’s something to be carried out by Parliament, it’s not something you blindly jump to.” 

Tuilaepa is serving his fifth term as Prime Minister. If he returns after the election as the Prime Minister, it would be his eighth term.  The call to limit term of office for Prime Minister was initially raised by Tautua Leader, Palusalue Fa’apo II.  Palusalue said Tuilaepa has become far too powerful that he is arrogant.

 

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