Samoa PM Dismisses Calls For Early Elections

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Tuilaepa calls opposition’s effort ‘foolish;’ says it cannot happen

By Sophie Budvietas And Jasmine Netzler

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Nov. 30, 2013) – Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi claims an early election cannot be called.

"This belongs to government," he said on radio station 2AP’s weekly program with the Prime Minister on Thursday.

"There are many steps to be taken for an early election; it can't be done.

"Palusalue (Faapo II, Tautua Leader) understands this."

"He was a member and once held a Ministerial post."

"He changed parties during the road change, when it was time for our party to make the vote to go ahead with the road switch.

"He didn’t (vote for it). He was caught in the corner even further when the other members of HRPP who were supposed to side with him didn't."

"He's been angry with them ever since."

He said this action taken by Palusalue showed how little he knew about politics.

Tuliaepa also called Palusalue "foolish" over his call for an early election during the radio interview.

"Anyone who asks for an early election is foolish," he said.

[PIR editor’s note: Opposition leader Palusalue Faapo II said that PM Tuilaepa’s response to calls for early elections shows that he is worries and not secure in his position.]

"There are standard reasons why there should be an election before the term is up."

"They (the Tautua) are calling for an early election because I don’t have any time to conduct my duties as Prime Minister because I am trying to fix the broken problems of family."

He said by making this call Palusalue wants the elections to be held next week.

"The next election is in 2016," he said.

"This means that they want elections to go ahead next week.

"They have no preparations."

He questioned whether or not Palusalue had asked his own Party members whether or not they wanted an early election.

"You need 37 affirmations but they only have 12 members.

"It is not an easy thing discussing the elections.

"There are reasons why (we) have elections before its [sic] usual time - March or April or May 2016."

He said if an early election did go ahead it would be a sad moment for Palusalue when all his Party members decided to cross the floor to join the HRPP.

Then "there will be no Opposition Party…there to give us good advice," he said.

"Anyway they don’t give us good advice as they are meant to, they only advise us on good developments already in place."

The Prime Minister also back flipped on comments he made during last week’s program where he admitted his party, the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) was in trouble.

"What the Opposition Leader (is) talking about I don’t deny it," he said then.

This week on radio however, he emphatically denied there were any factions within the HRPP.

"There are no factions in the HRPP," Tuilaepa said last Thursday.

"It is like any family, there might be some differences of views but this doesn’t mean broken families."

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