Samoa PM puts election win down to delivering on promises
Samoa's prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says his Human Rights Protection Party's resounding election win reflects public satisfaction that his government has delivered on its promises.
Samoa's prime minister admits his party's resounding win in last Friday's general election exceeded his expectations.
Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says the Human Rights Protection Party had expected to win but not necessarily by such a landslide margin.
The HRPP won 44 of the 49 seats in parliament. - the best ever election performance for a party which has dominated Samoan politics for decades.
Tuilaepa told Johnny Blades that he put it down to the fact that as a government it has delivered on its promises.
Tuilaepa Sailele: This is usually the biggest advantage with an ongoing government, the opposition finds it difficult because the ongoing government has a track record which it can always refer back to, to prove to the people that it is a government that does things that deliver on what we have promised in our manifesto.
Johnny Blades: You've also brought in four female MPs who won election in that poll. That's quite a leading figure in the Pacific Islands region in terms of the make-up of your parliament.
TS: That's quite right. The minimum number of women in our parliament has been fixed by law at ten percent. That means we have one more (to select) and so we will have to go back on the women that participated, the women candidates. And since we had the most women, the one that commanded the biggest majority in terms of the percentage of the roll will get it. And we (the HRPP) expect that the fifth woman will be from the party again.
JB: And your party selected Fiame Naomi Mataafa as the new deputy, is that correct?
TS: That's right. That was done yesterday. And she's now the deputy prime minister.. ah, deputy leader. And it's a big victory for the women of Samoa.
JB: You're now, I believe the longest-running head of a country in the Pacific Islands region currently serving. How do you feel, you've been there a long time, you;re still excited by the challenge of the job?
TS: That's quite right. I have been asked that question many times, and it seems that my party always finds me acceptable to them and so I just carry on.
JB: What do you see as your big challenges in this next term in office?
TS: Well, the biggest challenge for the government would be to put in place adaptation projects that would assist the country cope with climate change, and that means it cuts right across all sectors of the economy.
JB: And the economy itself, how do you see that as having been going in recent years and what do you expect in coming years?
TS: Well, we had been growing, although with small margins due to the impact of the external shocks which also impact on our growth. But the most important thing is we keep growing on our GDP, and it's a big help.
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