The last man standing
Hope is not lost for an opposition party.
So says A’eau Leavai Peniamina, the deputy leader for the Tautua Party, who believes there is still hope for them.
One of the longest serving Members of Parliaments said it’s not about the number of members that matters.
“I am humbled and happy in the sense that we still have members of the Tautua Party,” he said.
“The last man standing” said their main focus now is to make sure Samoa has a healthy Parliament.
Having an opposition is the way to do that, A’eau said.
“We want the principles of democracy to be upheld and maintained within our Parliament. This means that there is a greater need for a strong voice and approach from the opposition side.
“I have a lot of faith and I am not discouraged even with the small number of members we have now.”
He highlighted the point that numbers don't matter.
“It’s the voice that counts,” he said.
“Even if there are only three of us, that’s not a problem, just as long as you do the job well. As members of an opposition side it is our job to voice our opinions freely and be able to speak the truth.
“So it’s not a matter of having more members, just as long as you have a strong voice in Parliament. What’s the use of having 10 members yet you don’t all have a voice in Parliament? To me, I think the most important thing is to speak up in Parliament and speak of the truth. That’s why I don’t think the number really matters.”
A’eau believes that it is a must for a democratic government to have an opposition.
“There should be balance in any area of life. It will be hard to have only party in parliament. Because parliament is not a body for a certain number of people. It’s a council where decisions for the country as a whole are made.”
He acknowledged the support of all the people who voted for them [Tautua Members].
“I am still grateful to God and the people for voting for us so that we can still make up this part of government. This shows that there are people out there who know the vital role play by the opposition party in any government. Because if they did not want to have an opposition, they wouldn’t have voted for us to come back.”
A’eau added that there’s nothing much to do but to accept the election results.
“We will not question the decision made by our people. If most of our former members were voted out in the election, it could be that they were lackadaisical, so again we are in no place to doubt the decision of the people.
“Whatever result we got, it was made by the people, accept it and move on. Because we cannot forever dwell in the past, but we must look past it, learn from it and move on.
“Our focus now is to look at do the right thing and play by the rules. We should follow the system and rules of a democratic government.
Asked about their plans for the future and how they will go up against the H.R.P.P, A’eau said they have a “big game plan.”
“But as you know, when you have a game plan, you need not to expose it or reveal it, because the other side might know your tactics and use it against you.”