Cook Islands Opposition leader support Samoa’s PM- elect Mata’afa

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Cook Islands Opposition leader Tina Pupuke Browne has extended congratulations and support to Samoa’s prime minister-elect Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, encouraging the first woman to ever hold the post to continue “standing firm and unwavering.”

In a statement, Browne said PM Mata’afa’s resolve and determination to lead Samoa out of the current constitutional crisis deserves respect and support from neighbouring Pacific island governments and leaders.

“I have deep admiration and respect for Fiame, she’s going up against a former very long-serving PM and certain top officials who still support Tuilaepa (Malielegaoi), all of whom will not accept his defeat at the polls. He’s trying everything to stay in power and is being aided and abetted by officials who have plunged this beautiful country into a crisis that will long be remembered. This is what Tuilaepa will be remembered for – the complete chaos that he wrecked on Samoa’s governance.”

The Opposition leader added that what has been forgotten by those trying to cling on to power is that there must always be a separation of powers and the rule of law must also always prevail.

“Once these critical pillars of our society and arms of government become entangled and cease to be separated, it can reduce a country into disarray, destroys democracy and does nothing to prevent corruption.

“I have confidence in the leadership of Fiame Mata’afa – she has already proven to be decisive and has the welfare of her people uppermost in mind, her actions prove that,” said Browne referring to the Samoa PM cancelling a “dubious” multi-million dollar Chinese funded wharf project.

“The people of Samoa voted for change, they wanted a new government, new leadership and that is exactly what Fiame brings. I have no doubts at all she will run the country with integrity, transparency and empathy and I wish her the very best for her first term of office,”She said.

SOURCE: COOK ISLANDS NEWS/PACNEWS