APIA, SAMOA – Leader of the FAST political Party, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polata’ivao never spoke to the President of the Tautua Party, Luagalau Dr. Wood Salele as claimed in the media.
Luagalau told the media the Tautua Party was approached by FAST to form a coalition “but they were not interested.”
La’auli has called on the Tautua President to correct his statements as he never called or spoke to Luagalau. “But the older members of his party were calling me to call Luagalau, and now he is making it look as if that we wanted them to join us.”
The former Speaker, who returned to Parliament in a convincing margin in a by-election last month, said the only time Luagalau spoke to him was when he left the HRPP. “He asked me to join the Tautua Party,” said La’auli.
But he was of the opinion that he was a sitting Member of Parliament and why must he join a party that had no MPs?
Then along with committed supporters, the FAST party was formed and was officially registered 30 July this year.
In a press statement released after the party was registered, FAST announced only three policy statements from its Manifesto. The three were:
- Limiting the term for future Prime Ministers to only two (5 year) terms as a check on abuse of power;
- Abolishing the Taxation of church ministers and;
- Decentralizing some (public) services to village management.
When Tautua launched its manifesto two weeks ago, it included FAST’s first two policy statements as it announced in July.
However, the Tautua President has accused FAST of copying their manifesto.
La’aulialemalietoa has called on the Tautua President to correct his statements that FAST had been enticing its members and that FAST had copied Tautua’s manifesto.
“We are full of respect for you, but you should correct your statements in the media that I came and asked you for our parties to form a coalition. You have also said we have copied your manifesto,” said La’auli.
“My advice is for you not to disturb our cordial relations. Try first whether you can make it into parliament, then we can talk as much. But correct your statements.”
Luagalau served one term in Parliament under the title Afualo and in a leadership tussle going into the 2016 general elections, Tautua managed to return only two MPs and left Parliament without a recognized parliamentary opposition up to now.
Since it was registered last July, the FAST Party has worked with the former Opposition Party, SNDP and the Tumua ma Puleono to field candidates in all the 51 constituencies under the FAST flag in the April 2021 general elections.