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P.M. congratulates parties on merger

The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi has congratulated three parties, Faatuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.), Samoa National Democratic Party (S.N.D.P.) and Tumua ma Pule on a merger announced earlier this week.

During his 2AP programme on Thursday afternoon, Tuilaepa said the three political parties’ joining forces was “nice”.

“Their [merger] is nice. The truth is parties are good things. And I give them my blessing,” Tuilaepa said.

The Prime Minister also offered his advice for the newly merged parties, who will be running under the flag of F.A.S.T. in the upcoming election.

“May they live well and grow well. And good growth is working together. May you follow your policies [... of freedom],” he said. 

“And it is this said freedom that established their group, where it is up to each one of them and no laws to guide their conduct; meaning it is up to each one of them to act how they like.

“Parties such as these do not take long until they break apart and disperse. As once [as] the leader may try and say ‘do this’, [another]might say ‘it is none of your business’.”

On Wednesday, the F.A.S.T. leader and former Cabinet Minister, Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Schmidt, was accompanied by S.N.D.P. leader and former Member of Parliament, Valasi Tafito, and Tumua ma Puleono Secretary and spokesman, Malaeolevavau John Peterson to sign a merger agreement at F.A.S.T. headquarters in Vaitele.

While the manifesto for each party remains unchanged, their candidates will contest under the F.A.S.T. banner during the 2021 General Election.

Tuilaepa said a leader should set examples for his party to follow.

While he did not mention La’auli’s name, Tuilaepa said the fact that their leader left his previous party, the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) is an example that speaks volumes.

The move by the S.N.D.P. to join forces with the F.A.S.T. is to assure the motto unity will make the party strong, Valasi said. 

Speaking during the press conference announcing the parties’ merger, Malaeolevavau said their main objective is to remove the H.R.P.P. Government which has been in power for decades.

“Uniting under the F.A.S.T. is a good move because we want to see change. We share the same goal and we will work together in going forward. Today we want to declare that we will be running under the F.A.S.T.,” he said.

Tuilaepa recalled that the last time there was a merger of political parties was in 1986 and 1987 and “nothing good came out of it.”

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