Tuilaepa Gives Re-launched SNDP Winning Tips

About the author:

Mataeliga Pio Sioa, Newsline Samoa newspaper editor. A veteran journalist in broadcast and print media.

  • PM Tuilaepa ready to give keynote address at the relaunching of the SNDP political party
    PM Tuilaepa ready to give keynote address at the relaunching of the SNDP political party

The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi did more than reach out a hand in the resurrection of the Samoa National Development Party or SNDP, during the week.

He also tipped off the organisers of the former opposition party on how to dethrone his ruling Human Rights Protection Party, HRPP.

Tuilaepa was invited to deliver the keynote speech at the re-launching of the political party at the Tuutuuileloloto Hall on Wednesday.

The PM confirmed the invitation and his decision to accept out of mutual respect that is normal between political parties.

“My advice to them was to offer better policies that will appeal to the voters and to establish credibility as a political party,” Tuilaepa openly disclosed on his weekly media session on national radio.

“At the HRPP we set our own policies and leave it to the voters to decide for themselves.”

As leader of the party, Tuilaepa, felt that the durable reign of the HRPP is on the success of Government policies.

He said the more the country benefits from these policies the more the voters favour the party and the longer it remains in power.

Party credibility is not a quality he would comment on because it has nothing to do with him.

The PM, however, advocated that he believes in the freedom of voters to make their choice, hinting at having a legitimate opposition party in Parliament.

Under Standing Orders of the House, official recognition can only be given to a political party in Parliament with a minimum of 8 registered members.

The current sitting of Parliament is without an official opposition party since the last opposition party the Tautua Samoa, returned only two registered members following the 2016 general elections.

Tuilaepa cautioned against voters who take their freedom of choice beyond the point where they are at risk of offending the law.

He warned that there is no such thing as absolute freedom and of the risk of people getting into trouble with the law for abuse of their basic rights.

Subtle references was made to the alleged conspiracy made against his life and of the abuse of freedom of speech online.

The interim SNDP Party leader, Aulavemai Tafito Valasi, announced a higher minimum wage and the safeguard of customary lands as the main platform to win the 2021 general elections.

The party claims an early registered membership of 300 supporters both local and overseas, with election candidates yet to be announced.

The revived political party traced its roots back to a merge of the Christian Democratic Party and the Samoa National Party in 1988.

Tupua Tamasese Efi led the party following the 2001 general elections when it won 13 of the 49 seats in Parliament.

SNDP in 2003 evolved into the Samoa Democratic United Party led by Le Mamea Ropati. The last legitimate opposition party to challenge the HRPP was the Tautua Samoa.

The SNDP is the second official political party after the Samoa First Party to be officially established to challenge the Government of PM Tuilaepa.