Tautua Samoa calls for another general election

The leader of the Tautua Samoa party Afualo Luagalau Dr. Wood Salele has called for another general election to be held in light of Samoa's two major political parties now in a 26-seat deadlock.

In an interview with the Samoa Observer, the party leader said it is now obvious that the country will have a hung Parliament and the decision on who forms government should be referred back to the voters.

“It’s evident it will be a hung Parliament with the numbers and it is only fair that there should be a re-election and the voters should go back to the polling stations,” he said. 

On Wednesday, caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi said with the election producing a 26-seat deadlock between the major parties, Samoans could soon be returning to the polls. 

The election tie was cemented within a period of nearly 12 hours in recent days.  

One new Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) aligned M.P. was introduced to Parliament on Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, Independent M.P. Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio declared his allegiance to the Faatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party. 

Both developments ensure that the country is now facing a hung Parliament, that could only be resolved by a repeat national election, Tuilaepa said on Tuesday. 

“In any case of a hung parliament, the conclusion is another election,” the caretaker Prime Minister said during a press conference at his office on Wednesday morning.  

Afualo said the Head of State should nullify the voting results from the recent general election. 

“Also the law does not give us a plan b or a resolution in any case of a hung Parliament but to go back to the polling stations," he added.

"To be fair to everyone, the re-election should be conducted, no matter what. We all see that both parties are firm on trying to determine which party to lead and we cannot go on like this. 

"However, unless they decided to unite as one government, but then again that will take us back to square one, that we are a one party state, which is something the people did not want. 

"It's evident from the results that our people want opposition, and that is democracy to the core."

Last week, before the addition of an extra woman's seat into Parliament, Independent M.P. Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio was in control as the likely decider of who would form Government. 

Tuilaepa told the media that he contacted Tuala over the weekend to offer assistance regarding his decision. 

“It is a good thing that will do good for your family, children, and [your constituency can use it to your advantage],” Tuilaepa said he told the independent member-elect for Gagaemauga No. 1 about his choice.

“But at the same time I reminded him that [if] a Government cannot formalise due to the numbers [then] the Head of State has one option and that is to disqualify the results of [the] previous election and go back to the [polls].”

He added there are “time limitations” in the constitution for resolving political deadlocks. 

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