Today is your day

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 04 March 2016, 12:00AM

Well here we are ladies and gentlemen. Today is the day of reckoning in more than 40 constituencies across the country. 

From Falealupo in Savai’i to Lalomanu at Aleipata – including Manono and Apolima – thousands of voters will be lining up to cast their votes.

The General Elections only happen once every five years. So if you’re eligible to vote today, get to the polls. There are important decisions to be made.

Needless to say, the future of this country depends on it.

After all that has been said, written and done about the General Elections, the moment we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived. Yes, it comes down to that decision each voter will make today when they cast their votes. 

Indeed, election day has arrived as a matter of relief for voters and candidates alike. 

For voters, today is your day. We say this because with your vote, the power is in your hands. The decision you make today will shape your future, your children’s future and that of all the people of this country.

As for candidates, love them or loathe them, we must acknowledge that the past months have not been easy. Most of them – including their families and friends - would be looking forward to a day of rest after the madness of the campaign trail. 

Folks, it takes courage to step up to the plate to become an election candidate.

And there’s more. There are sacrifices to be made in terms of resources, manpower and money. Let’s not forget that in Samoa, families are a big part of these elections. For each candidate out there, there are children, aunties, uncles, wives, husbands and many others in the family circle who have been toiling tirelessly to help.

It goes without saying that they cannot all be winners. Whatever the outcome will be – and we know that there can only be one winner from each constituency – let’s give them a round of applause for their courage and commitment. There is always a next time.

Now when it comes to the issues, we believe there has been plenty of space on the pages of your newspaper where the issues have been debated during the past years. 

We therefore don’t think it’s necessary to delve into them too much anymore in this piece.

But for the sake of clarity, for the last time, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and the leader of the Tautua Samoa Party, Palusalue Fa’apo II, are making their cases on pages 2 and 3 of the newspaper you are reading.

The fact is that few would deny that the government has done well so far in terms of many developments across the country. Their hold on power – for 34 years – also speaks volumes about how strong their systems are – whether they are legitimate or not.

Today, all indicators point to another landslide victory for the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P). The more interesting question is what will the H.R.P.P leadership look like when the dust settles. 

Should people who are yearning for change lose heart then and give up?

Absolutely not. 

Tomorrow is always another day. 

The downfall of the Tautua Samoa Party, in our opinion, has been the inability of its leadership to unite the party members. This has given rise to the question that if the leadership of the opposition party cannot organise and unite themselves; what guarantee do we have that they can organise an entire country? 

On the other hand, Prime Minister Tuilaepa and the H.R.P.P have become far too powerful for their own good – let alone that of the country. They cannot continue to behave this way. The problems and the challenges of today are by-products of the system they have created where they have little or no respect at all for what is moral and the law.

We agree that they are a force and they have the experience to run the country.

But with a foreign debt that’s edging closer to $1.5billion tala and the multiple problems in terms of corruption and abuse of power, can we afford another five years with them at the helm?

Whoever you are and whatever your views, it is time to have your say. 

Ladies and gentlemen, today is indeed your day. Make your vote count. 

May God bless Samoa and we wish everyone a peaceful Election day!

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 04 March 2016, 12:00AM

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