Leadership of F.A.S.T. to be decided soon
The Chairman of Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.), La'auli Leuatea Schmidt is confident that his lineup of candidates for the upcoming General Election are more than capable of carrying out their parliamentary duties.
In the events that Samoa's newest political party wins the majority to make up the government of the day after the election, La'auli believes that the aspiring parliamentarians are well-equipped to lead the country.
"I am confident that our candidates and the warriors who have put up their hands to run for the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi have the qualities to lead and carry out their duties as Members of Parliament," La'auli told the Samoa Observer.
"If it weren't for that confidence we would have never made the move to go out and across the country.
The former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and Cabinet Minister believes that their party is made up of a "variety" of skillful people in all different sectors in the country.
"Most of those who are running under the banner of F.A.S.T. are former parliamentarians. So they've got the experience.
"Some of them used to lead the different government ministries.
"We have lawyers, civil engineers, educators, farmers, accountants, people who led Samoa's Healthy sectors and so much more.
"We also have people who hold high positions in the different denominations they serve.
"They all have qualities to lead and to serve our people with humility and love."
He also commended the bravery of those who are contesting under F.A.S.T.'s banner in the upcoming election.
"It was not easy for them to put up their hands to contest. It was a big hurdle for them.
"They had to resign from their jobs and their careers and have to face all the criticism from the ruling H.R.P.P. and yet they are still fighting, standing tall to bring change to the country."
When asked if their group has decided who will lead the party after elections, the former Cabinet Minister of the ruling Human Rights Protection Party said it is not a difficult choice.
"Leadership is not something that should be questioned," La'auli responded.
"It will not be hard to choose a leader. You can see now that I am leading the party. But that's not the reason I walked out.
"I am not doing this because I wanted to become a leader. Right from the start, the people and the members of this party chose me to lead as we head to the election.
"As for me, I have already informed my constituency of my wish and they know what's in my heart.
"And you have heard what my constituency said."
During a meeting with the Gagaifomauga No.3. constituency in Savai'i, the elders of La'auli's constituency called out to the former Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, who was the guest speaker at the event.
"Fiame, be prepared as your time to lead is near," the constituency's spokesperson, Seve Avaula said.
"You will become the first female Prime Minister for Samoa."
Laauli said that is what they want for Samoa.
"We also discussed this with Olo (Fiti Va'ai) and Leatinu'u (Wayne Fong) and they have given me their trust to lead the party for now.
"But as soon as we are done with our roadshow and when Fiame is officially one of us, we will then look at choosing a leader.
"If you look at it, we both (La'auli and Fiame) walked out of H.R.P.P. because the trust is no longer there, and the confidence is no longer there.
"Our parents and our families have served the H.R.P.P. and we held that party dear to our hearts."
But Laauli pointed the finger to new H.R.P.P. members who he said knew nothing about the party and did not recognise the sacrifice of their predecessors.
"We had so many new people joining the party who have no love and know nothing about the party, that's why we felt like it's no longer how it used to be.
"Anyways, that's in the past now.
"Our eyes are now set on the election. Whoever we will have as a leader, he or she will have my full support.
"Whatever position they will choose for me, I will be happy to offer my service wherever I am placed."
There are 50 candidates running under F.A.S.T.'s banner in the upcoming election. Former Deputy Prime Minister is yet to officially join the party.
The party was officially registered on the 30 of July 2020.
A month after its official registration, they went into a coalition with two other political parties, Tumua ma Pule, and the Samoa National Democratic Party.