Democracy Samoa style

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

How time flies. This time a year ago was a moment of reckoning for more than 40 constituencies across the country. 

From Falealupo in Savai’i to Lalomanu at Aleipata – including Manono and Apolima – it was when thousands of voters lined up to cast their votes in the General Election. 

Yes it was the day when democracy took its natural course in Samoa and where the future of this country for the next five years – and beyond – was determined.

We said at the time that the day for voters was their day, reminding that the power was in their hands. 

We said the decision they make would shape their future, your children’s future and that of all the people of this country.

 We also reminded about a couple of truths. 

One is the fact is that the government had done well in terms of many developments across the country, changing lives for the better. We said Samoa has come a long way in terms of developments which is the truth.

But we also warned that Prime Minister Tuilaepa and the H.R.P.P have become far too powerful for their own good – let alone that of the country. 

We said they couldn’t continue to behave this way, cautioning that the problems and the challenges of today are by-products of the system they have created.

While there is no doubt they have the experience to run the country, with a foreign debt threatening the $2billion tala mark and the multiple problems in terms of corruption, abuse of power and collusion, we wondered if this country could afford another five years with them at the helm? 

Well the answer to that question was quite emphatic.

In the end, the result was clear-cut. 

It was a landslide victory by the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P), continuing an era of total domination at the polls. The numbers in Parliament today tells a story. H.R.P.P 47 with the Tautua Samoa 3.  

Speaking of the opposition, to say that the Tautua Samoa Party was defeated is an understatement. 

The reality is that the H.R.P.P had booted them to oblivion. They were crushed. But then what did we expect. It’s not as if we headed into the election expecting anything different?

Today, the Parliamentarians who won seats on that wonderful election day a year ago are celebrating their first year of their reign. For some of them new ones, it has been a year of discovery. Their excitement about walking down the halls of power in Samoa is no doubt still high.

As for the seasoned politicians, well it’s been a case of more of the same isn’t it?

Nothing is new.

And God willing that we arrive at the next General Elections, that will make the H.R.P.P’s reign 39 years old with Tuilaepa sitting as Prime Minister for more than 20 years. 

That’s some impressive numbers, ladies and gentlemen. This is definitely democracy Samoa style.

And what about all those problems staring us in the face everyday? What about poverty, hardship, struggles, corruption, abuse of power and so forth? What about the lack of jobs, money and so forth?

Does the government have a role in fixing them? 

Of course they do. 

But don’t complain now, this is the government you wanted. 

This what you agreed to.

Your vote was democratic right, perfectly legal and only possible in Samoa. 

If you have issues, four more years to go. 

Have a nice weekend Samoa, God bless!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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