Samoa Observer

"I considered retiring from politics": P.M. Fiame

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"I considered retiring from politics": P.M. Fiame

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 24 May 2022, 10:46PM

Samoa’s Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa has revealed that she planned to retire from politics, towards the end of the term of the last parliamentary term in 2020.

However, upon returning to Samoa from attending a conference overseas in March of that year, she read through a package of legislation formulated by the former Administration, which she claimed would “restructure Samoa’s judicial system and change the Constitution of Samoa.”

This, according to Fiame, led to a change of heart from exiting Samoa's political scene as the Lotofaga M.P.

“Nearing the end of that parliamentary term, I was already considering retiring from politics because I saw that the Administration was heading towards the wrong direction,” Fiame said, during a special programme with ET Live on Monday night. 

“They took advantage of the majority number of seats we had back then to rush into anything and everything they wanted. 

“That’s why I started to think about retiring and give the opportunity to others to join politics. 

“However, when I returned from a trip in March of 2020 and read through the proposal, included in the three bills at the time, it changed my mind and made me stay back. 

“In all consciousness, I decided to stay because it is important to me that we respect the rule of law because I have been a parliamentarian for such a long time. 

“But the proposed laws would destroy the heart of the work done by our forebears, which is our constitution.

“Therefore, I reconsidered my decision to retire and decided to stay.”

Fiame then paid homage to Samoa's forefathers who paved the way for the country's path to independence and put together the constitution for the Independent State of Samoa. 

A strong believer that there is “absolutely nothing wrong” with the Constitution of Samoa, she said it embodies the wisdom and dreams of Samoa’s ancestors for Samoa. 

“There was absolutely nothing wrong with the Constitution by our forefathers,” said Fiame. “If there are lapse there with our constitution, it’s because of the amendments made by people later on.

“Our constitution has continued to guide our journey as a political nation, and it has been the solid foundation of what we do as a country. 

“It holds the rule of law and everything together since the beginning.

“That is why I am grateful for the sacrifices and foresight of our forebears for putting together our constitution.

“It is no secret that our journey after the election in 2020 was not a smooth journey. But our Constitution and the rule of law guided us through it all.”

Fiame said she is of the view that it was Samoa’s constitution that helped unite the people and prevented conflict, following a tumultuous 2021 general election that led to a four-months long constitutional crisis. 

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By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 24 May 2022, 10:46PM
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