H.R.P.P. radiothon nets $1.6 million in donations
The Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) received over $1.6 million in donations during a 12-hour radiothon fundraiser held on Saturday.
After cracking the $1 million mark at 4 pm on Saturday, the former longstanding party of Government announced that by the event’s 6 pm conclusion donors had contributed a total of $1.66 million in funds to the party.
An initial estimate of money raised of $1.4 million shortly after the telethon’s 6 pm closure was soon revised upwards.
By 7.30 pm, party officials said a total of $1,662,850 million had been received.
The fundraiser’s momentum accelerated substantially as the event drew to its close. By noon the boost to the party’s coffers stood at $500,000.
H.R.P.P. members responded to the news of the party’s final haul jubilantly and by dancing and singing.
The former ruling party has been on a fundraising drive this week, citing the need for funds to pay its post-election legal fees and to fund its contests in seven upcoming by-elections. Those contests come after previously elected party members lost post-election legal challenges that led to the voiding of their victories in April’s national election.
Earlier this week, the Samoa Observer revealed a letter signed by the party’s Secretary, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, had been sent to several local businesses seeking financial help.
The party Secretary cited not only its mounting legal bills but the need to raise funds for seven upcoming by-elections to be contested by the party after its previous victories were declared void in court.
“Should it become the government again, it will continue to lend the required support to our business community for they are the economic engine of our country,” Lealailepule wrote.
“Recently, we have had to meet Court costs among other expenses for an unprecedented number of petition cases.
“We have sought assistance from overseas supporters and respectfully seek any support you are able to provide at this time.”
On Saturday, the H.R.P.P.’s Deputy Leader, Fonotoe Lauofo Meredith M.P., said he was ecstatic by the results of the fundraising push.
The party faithful sang thanksgiving songs to news of the success of its fundraiser.
“To all our supporters, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. God has seen your donation and your compassion displayed with your donation that will assist us,” said the Deputy leader.
“Wherever in the world there is a Samoan, they will always lend a hand. It is in our nature and our blood.
“We will never forget your giving heart.”
The statements were made during the course of the telethon. Attempts by the Samoa Observer to enter party headquarters were unsuccessful on Saturday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, the former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi also thanked the party’s supporters.
The radiation comes after the party faced 26 election legal challenges after April’s national election and mounted several constitutional challenges during a months-long power struggle with the new Government, which was resolved only in late July.
Significant donors included the Federal Insurance Company, which contributed $20,000; the Stowers family donated $20,000; other donations on behalf of Members of Parliament, such as former Cabinet Minister Loau Keneti Sio amounted to $10,000.