The Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) is a Political Party that has stood at the helm for almost 40 years. Since its formation, Samoa has only ever known three leaders since it’s Independence in 1962 and all are from this Party; the late Vaai Kolone, the late Tofilau Eti Alesana (former Prime Minister - 1982 - 1985 and 1988 -1998) and former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi (Prime Minister - 1998 -2021).
In light of current events, former Prime Minister and leader of the HRPP, Tuilaepa, has been suspended indefinitely alongside HRPP secretary, MP Lealalepule Rimoni Aiafi, for having breached Parliamentary Privilege or contempt of Parliament.
This opinion piece won’t go into the “when” and “what” occurred for these two political veterans and leaders of HRPP to have been suspended, but one of the many questions that comes to mind is, what's next for HRPP? another question is, do they remain the status quo? Or are they considering a change of leadership and approach?
Perhaps they are considering a change of political tactics? The New Zealand National Party, for example, has had a few changes in leaders, style and approach.
The Newshub-Reid poll in early May this year showed a significant surge in support for the National Party. The second survey indicated that the Māori Party could decide who runs the Government after the next New Zealand election. There is no doubt that the Opposition Party Leader, Christopher Luxon has brought a significant change in focus and attitude within the National Party, a change that was much needed.
Change is sometimes good, but a delay in change is normally because of fear, maybe Tuilaepa still hasn't found someone who is capable to lead, due to his fear of the party failing.
Whatever happens next, the new Government needs a strong opposition to continue to keep them accountable, prevent autocratic leadership and uphold democracy.