3 Apr 2006

Samoa ruling party returned to office in weekend election

9:56 am on 3 April 2006

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele has been returned to parliament unopposed and deputy Prime Minister Misa Telefoni won an overwhelming margin in his constituency as voters in Samoa gave the governing Human Rights Protection Party a big majority in the weekend election.

The HRPP won 32 of 49 seats in Parliament

The main opposition party, the Samoa Democratic United Party won 10 seats while the Independents took 6.

None of the Samoa Party candidates including its leader Su'a Rimoni Ah Chong were elected.

Samoa's caretaker prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele, says he will be focusing on his country's strongest asset, its people, during his next term in office.

He says the wellbeing of the people will be central to the government's policies;

"We have very little natural resources, so the yeoman asset is so important to us. we ill concentrate on improving the education of our people as well as (their)health."

Samoa's caretaker prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele

The leader of the opposition Samoa Democratic Party Le Mamea Ropati says his party will be considering what steps to take after its dissapointing result in the elections.

The party had hoped to be able to put further pressure on the government through holding an increased number of seats but premliminary results have given the party 10 seats, similar to the number they held before.

Le Mamea Ropati says the result ran against early poll results.

several weeks before the election we were right up at the top of the polls. Even myself as the preferred prime minister and the party as the ruling party. People needed a change. That is what I meant when I said we were very surprised. We did not anticipate this result.