P.M. stays mum
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, was remaining tightlipped about the 13 Associate Ministers appointed yesterday.
In fact, asked by the Samoa Observer last night, Tuilaepa declined to discuss the appointments.
“They will be appointed when the time comes,” he said.
“And they will be sworn in when they are sworn in.”
He told the Samoa Observer to “come tomorrow (today) around 4 o’clock.”
Last night, the Office of the Press Secretariat issued a media invite for the swearing in of the Associate Ministers at the Cabinet room today at 4pm.
Yesterday, the H.R.P.P caucus held a six hour-long caucus meeting at the government building.
A reliable source told the Samoa Observer that the Ministers were left to nominate their own Associate Ministers.
The source said some of the names recommended include So’oalo Mene, Taefu Lemi, Ali’imalemanu Alofa Tuuau, Lealilepule Rimoni Aiafi, Lenatai Victor Tamapua among others.
Last week, Prime Minister Tuilaepa announced that there would only be one Associate Minister per Minister, as opposed to the practice of having several Associate Ministers.
In announcing his Cabinet, Tuilaepa emphasized the value of teamwork.
“I wish to say that the selection has proven a lot more difficult given the importance of ensuring a balanced consideration of many factors including individual skills, expertise, capabilities, the years of political experience, a fair geographical distribution and being cognizant of constituencies that have never been represented in Cabinet," Tuilaepa said.
"The choices we make are ultimately our responsibility, and I am all too aware that coming together is a beginning."
"Working together is a step towards success. It is in this spirit of togetherness that I hasten to counsel that for those who will not be selected for Ministerial portfolios - which are themselves very limited - other opportunities to serve abound within the parliamentary processes and practices.
"To the people of Samoa, we know that with your trust in us, there are also high expectations of us as your elected leaders.
"To all Parliamentarians, we have been entrusted with responsibilities that call for extraordinary work ethics, selflessness, integrity and accountability to the electorates that brought us here."
"As your leaders, we will strive to achieve the best that our abilities can provide with your prayers and encouragement with God's help, we should be able to overcome the challenges."