7 Mar 2016

Samoa PM still excited by challenge of leading country

8:45 am on 7 March 2016

Samoa's prime minister has attributed his party's resounding victory in last Friday's general election to his government's ability to deliver on its promises.

The Human Rights Protection Party of Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi won 44 of the 49 seats in parliament.

It was the best ever election performance for the party, which has dominated Samoan politics for most of the time since 1982.

Tuilaepa has been prime minister for almost eighteen years, and admited he's still excited by the challenge of leading Samoa.

"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."

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi. In the background is Tuvalu's Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

Biggest challenge is climate change - Tuilaepa

Tuilaepa said his government's biggest challenge in the next term in office is to implement climate change adaptation programmes

He pinpointed climate change as a leading issue that his island country is grappling with.

"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."

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said another main challenge is to keep growing Samoa's economy after the moderate but positive growth of recent years in the face of global financial shocks.

Meanwhile Tuilaepa confirmed the selection of one of four female MPs-elect, Fiame Naomi Mataafa, as the HRPP's new deputy leader.

He said it is a victory for the women of Samoa.