Tautua’s ‘three musketeers’
Three is usually a crowd but as small as they seem compared to the H.R.P.P, the members of the Tautua Samoa Party who have made it past last Friday’s General Elections are determined.
The members are Aeau Peniamina Leavai, Ili Setefano Ta’ateo and Olo Fiti Vaai, who ran as an independent but has since joined the Tautua.
On Tuesday, Olo said they are determined more than ever to ensure the government is held to account in their decision-making.
“With us three, we can take them on,” said Olo.
Salega East’s M.P. challenged Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi that if he was tough enough, he should accept three members as an official opposition party.
Reflecting on the preliminary result of the elections, Olo believes Samoa is not yet ready to cast their votes according to political parties and their manifestos.
“The policies made by the Tautua and H.R.P.P did not matter,” he said.
“People were voting for their families. And that is why I think it will take time for our people to consider voting for the best political party.”
He is hopeful that in the future, people will learn to vote based on issues and policies.
“I don’t blame the Prime Minister or the H.R.P.P candidates,” said Olo
“Because they [voters] were not told by the Prime Minister or the candidates to vote for them. They were given the right to vote and choose which party should rule. And the people have spoken.”
Olo said he is not disheartened. Instead, he is more determined than ever to be the voice of reason when Parliament begins.
As for his decision to choose the Tautua Samoa Party, Olo said it was based on what he felt was best for Samoa.
“As a politician, parties are not important to me,” he said. “What’s important to me is for Samoa to have a healthy Parliament.”
Olo said the debate should be balanced and it’s vital for the government to hear an opposing view.
For the veteran M.P. Aeau Peniamina Leavai, he said the outcome of the election is unfortunate.
“The number does not matter,” he said. “It’s your opinion and voice that matters.”
Aeau also asked their members who did not make it through the General Elections to accept the decision and move on.
Asked who will become the party’s next leader, Aeau said they would have to wait for the official count on Monday.