S.N.D.P. makes first move in Savai'i
Samoa's newest political, Samoa National Democratic Party (S.N.D.P.), will make customary land rights the centrepiece of its platform as it embarks on a listening tour of the country to flesh out the rest of its manifesto find quality candidates.
The party aims to attract and recruit candidates from Savai'i to run under the S.N.D.P flag for the upcoming 2021 elections.
Asiata Valasi Tafito, S.N.D.P. Party Leader, says the priority on their list at the moment is seeking out their candidates for General election.
“Because there is no use in making noise on the media and yet there are no candidates,” he said.
“Right now, with the laws in place, if the Party does not have eight official candidates, the party is not recognised (in Parliament).
“Even though there are representatives from other parties like Tautua but, they are not officially recognised as a party.”
Asiata said they aim to have a candidate running from each constituency around Samoa, under S.N.D.P. to counter the strong influence of the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P).
The party is yet to launch their manifesto as they are still developing it, through these consultations with the people of Samoa.
Party President, Vui Seigafolava Masinamua, announced that this coming Friday, October 25, members of the public will be able to meet and interact with the members of the party, in front of the Salelologa Market.
“This opposition party is preparing to answer to the big island’s needs, and so our trip to Salafai is for what Salafai needs,” said Vui.
“So we can meet and talk about how things are, and so the highest regard of this party is for us to listen well while they tell us what they need.
“Our hope is that we do not write any policies based on what we know or want and not what the people need.
“What’s mostly happening right now is that many are sitting in their offices and guess writing what the people actually want out in the villages.”
Amongst other things, their main focus area is customary lands issues, specifically the LTRA 2008, said Vui.
“Our main focus is concerned with customary lands.
“This is the something that has had our country singing against it but the government pushed through with it anyway and passed this LTRA 2008.
“But there are also many other areas we are looking at but we do not wish to tell everyone something before we even get to it.
“The power is with the people and not the members of parliament or parliament alone or whoever. They put their hand up to serve, not to have power.”