P.M. scoffs at new party alliance
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi has questioned how a newly announced alliance of opposition parties will be able to challenge the Government.
The Prime Minister’s comments came after the three opposition parties announced an informal alliance dedicated to changing the Government on Thursday.
The new alliance is composed of the Tautua Samoa Party, Samoa First Political Party (S.F.P.P.) and the Sovereign Independent Party (S.I.S.).
Tuilaepa suggested the parties would have had a better chance joining Fa’atuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party if their main goal was changing Government.
“And then what?,” P.M. Tuilaepa chuckled on his weekly 2AP programme.
“They [the parties] do not change a Government; the people change it, through [their votes]; just like how they expressed their choice in the previous general election.
“There were 47 candidates from HRPP out of 50 [seats] and if it comes back with similar results in the upcoming election, then that is the people’s choice as well.”
Tuilaepa characterised those involved in the joint alliances as “arrogant”.
The Prime Minister then offered his advice to the three parties who have recently aligned saying that firstly they needed to sort out their internal affairs.
“They need to see who their leader is. If not, do what I talked about before, they can have joint leaders. They can have six leaders, just as how Samoa had started out with more than one leader,” he said.
“From there they can sort it out.
“Maybe they can rotate the leader role every two months; these are leaders who cooperate.
“Because the funny thing is, it seems like they are working together but not exactly working together.”
In September, the Samoa National Democratic Party (S.N.D.P), Tumua ma Puleono and the F.A.S.T. party joined forces, with a total of 50 candidates standing in election, collectively running under the flag of F.A.S.T.
“I love them; that is why I am giving them good advice,” Tuilaepa added.
“But that is what I continue to advise them about; no party will stay solid forever when they contradict each other. Because the only reason they would be divided like this is when leadership is not at its greatest.”
Tuilaepa suggested that the leadership role be given to S.N.D.P. leader and former Member of Parliament, Valasi Toogamata Tafito, saying he has been in the game of politics for a very long time.
The Prime Minister also suggested Vui Seigafolava Masinamua, the deputy leader of S.N.D.P., who said he had long standing ambitions to enter Parliament.
On Thursday, Tautua Samoa leader, Afualo Luagalau Dr. Salele, was asked who would lead the alliance of parties.
Afualo said that the grouping would cross the bridge when they came to it.
"We are confident to get eight candidates elected into Parliament, those elected have the choice before taking oath which side to take," he said.
"Now that we are working together, there will not be a different allegiance once they get into Parliament, that is the assurance here."
The three parties have not signed a formal alliance document but agreed to support each other to oust ruling Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) candidates wherever possible.
20 candidates running in the 2021 General Election; 14 from Tautua, five from S.F.P.P. and one from S.I.S.