Samoa Caretaker PM welcomes fresh election

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Samoa Caretaker Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has applauded the decision from the Head of State to call for fresh General Elections to determine the Government of the day.

In a press conference on Tuesday night, shortly after the announcement from the Head of State to void the recent election results, Tuilaepa said the call is appropriate considering the 26-seat deadlock between two parties.

He confirmed a meeting with the Head of State and Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) leader, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa where they were consulted about intentions for a second election.

The Caretaker Prime Minister said the hung parliament will have a rippling effect on the nation if the country is to wait for a prolonged process from the Court to determine the petitions.

Following the meeting on Tuesday morning, Tuilaepa said the Head of State had given them time to respond to his intention the same day.

This was followed by the leader of the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) meeting with his caucus to decide on their stance in the call for a fresh election.

“In a letter, we responded that we have decided that whatever the decision from the Head of State we will accept it,” said Tuilaepa.

He acknowledged the Head of State for giving him and Mata’afa the opportunity to be consulted about the issue, even though he could have made the announcement without their knowledge.

In support of a second election in two weeks time, Tuilaepa said this is the only just way to ask the country to decide again, giving voters a second opportunity to cast their ballot.

“When given the second chance to vote we will know then who exactly is the country supporting and that is not a bad thing,” the Caretaker Prime Minister said.

“Is it better to go to the Court with two to three judges to determine the Government because that is what will happen. But we do not know what the grounds of those decisions will be based on…I also believe that this will ease the burden on the Court.”

According to Tuilaepa, the fresh election will also suppress any public criticism directed towards the members of the bench on any decisions they pass down from the electoral petitions.

“But if we go back to another election no one will complain about them,” he added.

He also issued a reminder to voters of how important their vote is, saying Samoa was a stable and democratic country in the Pacific before the nation decided a draw for the two parties.

Tuilaepa said it is now obvious, to the international community, the instability of a country that is peaceful.

He said the country has now witnessed the consequences of the misuse of their ballots to vote for those that have given them bread for a day forgetting about the 5 years ahead of them.

He warned that the voters’ voice through their ballot is crucial as it can either be a blessing or a curse to the voter and his or her children.

SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS