Weak Samoa Opposition Party Positive About Future Prospects

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Palusalue Fa‘apo looks forward to strong showing by Tautau in 2015

By Sophie Budvietas

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, July 27, 2013) – With only two and a half years until the next General Election, Palusalue Fa'apo II believes he can lead his party to victory from their new Tautua headquarters.

Things are looking up for the Party which had almost no presence at the 2010 election, losing six potential candidates to the Human Rights Protection Party.

"It is going to be hard, it’s going to be very hard," he says of the task ahead.

"(But) we are very fortunate now that we are established. Before we did not have any chance – I believe we have achieved so much in these two and a half years.

"We will be able to prove to the country what we stand for and also our role as the opposition to ensure that we are recognised as the alternative government."

The first step towards this recognition – a brand new block of land provided by the Government in Vaitele for the Party headquarters.

Palusalue said the request was put in for the land at the start of the last term of Parliament.

"They came through with an ideal piece of land for our head office and the centre for the Tautua," he said. "We are just finalising the lease now and we are very happy with that.

"I believe we will be able to have an office up and running by the end of this year.

"I want to express my appreciation to the Samoan government and to the Prime Minister for leasing us this land for our head office."

He says they will use their new headquarters as a campaign centre for the upcoming election.

"We should be able to work from there," says Palusalue.

Now fielding 12 members the Party is gathering strength.

"(We are now) made up of very professional people," he said.

"They have their own principles to protect and I believe that we will build on this foundation and we will be able to get more candidates for the next general election."

Palusalue touched on the lead up to the last election saying there were six or seven candidates that are now within the HRPP that were supposed to be with the Tautua.

"But the government has the power to offer them incentives – a new car, an associate minister position, telephone, travel and all this and they ended up switching to government before the election," he said.

"So we believe we must work on that to ensure we have candidates available for us.

"In terms of their principles and whatever they think contribute for the benefit of this country, not to come here and get the new car and pay rise and all these incentives.

"But we want is what we’ve got now (speaking about the current members) - we want these people to come here with their principles intact."

Palusalue said for now the Party will focus on moving forward, working on the foundation they have built.

"In our role as the opposition trying to raise these issues with the government," he said.

"To promote ourselves, also work on our manifesto try and to win then next election.

"(It’s) important because now the people are listening.

"Even though it’s very hard for us because the government has employed a lot of top chiefs from every village in terms of their advisory roles, however, we can see the cracks within the government now within the HRPP party so we take full advantage of that.

"We will win the next election. That is why it is very important for us to perform and to ensure that our role is recognised by the people.

"But I believe God will appoint whoever will be the next government, if it is not us then maybe it is not God’s will [for us to govern]."

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