The Darkest 15th Day of September 2021 memorial

By Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi. 16 September 2023, 4:59PM

Our by-elections in three political districts closed at 3 pm last Friday and at 5 pm the same day a memorial ceremony was held at the Human Rights Protection Party Headquarters at Petesa, Mulinu’u.

To keep alive in our memory the darkest day in our political history when HRPP Members of Parliament were prevented by the Police, on orders from the FAST Party Government, from taking their oaths of allegiance to serve God and our country following our General Elections on 9 April 2021. 

The election of these HRPP MPs had already been approved by the Head of State. Barricades of steel fences were set up barring the elected HRPP MPs' access to Parliament House and its precincts at Mulinu’u. Hundreds of Police standing behind 5-foot tall shields placed at all entrances were on duty to keep our MPs out. 

All these were deliberately planned to show to the outside world through media reports and photos that the HRPP Members were dangerous animals, intent on creating instability. Samoa up to then was the most stable country in the South Pacific!

Whilst the General Elections took place on 9 April 2021 it took five months of post-election court cases and a hung Parliament, before the Court of Appeal decision on 23 July 2021 which finally approved the FAST Party to take over the reign of Government after the Supreme Court had earlier ruled illegal and unconstitutional, the FAST Government's swearing-in ceremony forcefully conducted under a tent by a couple of Lawyers.  

These are the bare facts of our History that must be memorialised by our present and future generations. 

 The first meeting of the new Legislative Assembly was finally scheduled on 14 September 2021 when all new MPs ought to take their oaths. But it was on 15 September that FAST Party's intent was made clear!

Police vehicles were brought to arrest all of us and carted off to prison if we did not leave within 5 minutes. We advised the Police that we would never leave. 

By then the Head of State, Council of Deputy, and Pastors of the Council of Church turned up. They were told to wait in the back room in Parliament House until after Parliament rose. 

A few minutes later, the Speaker, the PM and the Cabinet and all MPs quietly disappeared through the front gate and drove off, leaving the Head of State and Council Member stranded in the back room. 

 This was the greatest political comedy act which can easily surpass any similar entertainment in either Africa or Asia. At least the whole world now knows Samoa is truly a great Christian Country. We are still in peace! The HRPP remains a peaceful opposition. 

And the FAST Party also acts like a true Government in opposition. 

 The whole purpose of the Darkest 15 September memorial is to remind our own party and our people that what happened in 2021, must never ever again be repeated in the future.


Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Leader of HRPP


By Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi. 16 September 2023, 4:59PM
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