13 Jan 2021

Samoa's former Deputy PM to join new political party

8:22 am on 13 January 2021

Samoa's former deputy prime minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, has announced she will officially join the Fa'atuatua i Le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T) political party.

Fiame told a rally on Tuesday that she will make the much anticipated move after Parliament sits for the last time next Tuesday.

Samoa Observer reports that she encouraged voters at Safata 2 electoral constituency to exercise their right to vote to achieve a change of government.

"We were also there in Government, but the reason we left was due to extreme abuse of power," she said.

Fiame added that authority is good when used wisely, but when they saw that it was corrupted and used with [bias]; she, along with Laauli Leuatea Schmidt and Faumuina Wayne Fong decided to leave.

Samoa's Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa

Samoa's Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa Photo: Dominic Godfrey / RNZ Pacific

She had been with the ruling Human Rights Protection Party as a Cabinet Minister for more than three decades and was Deputy Prime Minister since 2016 until she left last year.

"What did we do? We resign and speak up. We do not have authority, as Laauli said, it is in your hands to steer the future of this country," Fiame said.

More than 100 people packed the Fausaga Catholic Hall and tents were set up outside to listen to the party's agenda and offer support for their local F.A.S.T. candidate, Laumatiamanu Mathew Ringo Purcell.

Some matai who attended expressed support for the political party after hearing their long-term goals listed in their manifesto.

The party's deputy leader, Olo Fiti Vaai, assured the villagers that fair treatment of all constituencies is high on the agenda of the party because he particularly knows what it feels like after more than 10 years in the opposition.

Olo Fiti Vaai (left) and Faumuina Wayne Fong

Olo Fiti Vaai (left) and Faumuina Wayne Fong Photo: RNZ Pacific / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia