Tuilaepa’s replacement

Dear Editor,

Re: Playground politics as the P.M. returns 

Thank you Marj Moore for your editorial.

Succession planning to smooth leadership changes is part of the mature planning behind mature political parties full of mature people. 

However, this rarely goes smoothly for most political parties around the world, let alone the H.R.P.P in Samoa. 

Tuilaepa taking over from Tofilau at the end of 1998 was smooth in the end but there was still internal movement to out-manoeuvre Tuilaepa. 

However, in the end Tuilaepa out-manoeuvred them.

There will inevitably be a huge contest for the leadership of the party in the event of Tuilaepa’s eventual retirement or passing away. 

Why? Because there is no stand out candidate. 

In 1998, Tuilaepa had been Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister for a good number of years. He had been Tofilau’s acknowledged number 2 for over a decade. 

In the H.R.P.P of 2017, there is nobody remotely of that stature. 

There are a number of senior MPs who could step up but nobody with a clear run to the line as Tuilaepa had in 1998-1999. 

There has been a revolving door of Deputy PMs and Finance Ministers as Tuilaepa has employed a rotation policy over his 18 years as PM - giving different people (and their factions) a turn.


Petelo Suaniu

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