23 Feb 2011

HRPP to be tested in Samoa election

7:58 pm on 23 February 2011

A Samoan academic says next week's election could be the ruling HRPP party's toughest challenge for some time.

The HRPP has been in power for almost 30 years, and its leader, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has been Prime Minister since 1998.

A political scientist at Otago University, Dr Iati Iati, says the opposition Tautua Samoa party is more co-ordinated and well-informed than he's seen for a long time.

"They've been really vocal in their opposition to the government, and I think they've hit on a number of key issues and demonstrated that they're quite well informed about about these issues. For example, selling of government corporations, the level of poverty, the crisis in relation to standard of living in Samoa. So I think they've demonstrated that they know what's going on with government policy, a lot better than a number of oppositions have in past elections."

Dr Iati Iati says the HRPP party will be wanting to highlight the political stability under its governance and its experience.