By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA: The Tautua Samoa Party launched its manifesto today kicking off its general election campaign.
On the theme New Beginning: Justice and Prosperity For All, the manifesto was launched to an audience of mainly National University of Samoa students and a few outsiders. Tautua Samoa President, Luagalau Afualo Dr. Wood Salele said Tautua’s vision is for a new dawn and new strategy and their mission is categorized in four stages.
The four missions set out in the manifesto are:
* Equal Opportunity and Skills For all,
* Rule of Law and the Pursuit of Justice,
* Equal Distribution of Wealth and
* Environmental Sustainability.
Equal Opportunity and Skills for All addresses Education and Health and what needs to be upgraded and to establish a Samoa Education Fund and the establishment of a National University of Samoa branch in Savaii – the Tolotolo o Tamauli Campus.
Under the Health sector will be a National Welfare Fund, MediCare and medical insurance for all. They will also appoint a Commission of Inquiry into the Measles epidemic last November that killed 84 people mainly babies and the appointment of a Pathologist.
Pensions will be increased to $300 a month and will be paid out twice a month.
Under the Rules of Law and Justice, an Anti-Corruption Tribunal will be established.
“We will increase the number of Judges and set their retirement age at 70, and we will establish the Maota o Aiga, Tumua ma Pule and we will allow Samoans abroad to vote during our general elections,” said Luagalau.
Taking a page from the FAST Partys’ declared policies, Tautua also plans to abolish the law taxing church ministers and the Prime Minister will serve only two terms. Tautua will also review the appointment of the Head of State.
On the Equal Distribution of Wealth, Tautua is looking at increasing the minimum wage from $3.00 to $4.00 talā and will continue to strengthen local and international partnerships.
Luagalau said Tautua is keen on establishing a Trade Centre and a Commission of Trade and Marketing to help market local products.
On Environmental Sustainability, Tautua is fully committed to ensuring that customary lands are well protected and safeguarded and all other important issues that might affect the environment.
Only a few candidates for next year’s general election attended the launch at the National University and Luagalau said the Party will officially announce all its candidates next Wednesday.
Reverend Brenda Reed led the prayer service and a few members of the public attended with a handful of students of the National University of Samoa who were invited to the launch.