The Human Rights Protection Party

What is Good for Apia is also good for Savaii!
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Mar 14

HRPP Camps

La'auli Leuatea Polataivao Fosi

by Aigaletaule’ale’ā F. Tauafiafi of Samoa Observer
We find out what they get up to when in camp at Petesa

Victorious members of the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) are camping to empower themselves and to select a Cabinet.

The duration to achieve those purposes depends on the time Electoral Commissioner Tanuvasa Isitolo Lemisio formally announces the official election results.

Commissioner Tanuvasa told the Samoa Observer earlier this week the results should be known in two weeks time.

At Petesa meanwhile, HRPP Whip, La’aulialemalietoa Polata’ivao is the man in charge.
A role he is familiar and comfortable with, he says the two-week camp is an HRPP tradition and part of the party’s heritage.
“I was part of this tradition when I was very young as my father was in Parliament for 40 years. So I know the procedures and what the camp stands for,” he recalls.

“But for the new members, it’s a time to observe and get themselves immersed into the procedures of the HRPP. To become part of the whole movement so we are one when it’s time to go to Parliament.”

But before Parliament a number of key decisions need to be made.
“Once we have the final official count, that’s when we move to select the Speaker and Deputy speaker,” he says. The selection is made by the caucus.

“After that, then we move to elect the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister which again is a caucus decision.”

Says La’auli, “Once the Prime Minister is elected, he then picks his Cabinet and that’s something between the PM and God.”

But for the Petesa camp itself, La’auli admits he’s blown away at the vision laid down by the founding fathers of HRPP.

“This HRPP headquarters is called ‘Le Taelega i Petesa’. In the pool at Petesa during our Saviour’s time, people go there to clean themselves of ailments and to be renewed. That is the vision here for HRPP where we come to Petesa to clean, renew and re-arm ourselves.

“It’s here where everyone is prepared and made ready to go to Parliament and fight for what’s best for the country.”

As master of the camp, La’auli says the expectation is the same as of past camps.
“We expect everyone to individually focus and prepare themselves so they are primed at the cultural, spiritual, psychological and political levels.”

The functional aspect of the camp gives an opportunity to members and their supporters to be informed on issues and protocols required for Parliamentarians and their supporters.

It’s an All Blacks style camp for a test match.
It’s full on and its intense, says La’auli.

“We have a roll call at 5am in the morning, the ava ceremony and the breakfast. We then have two hours for activities such as blood checks and seminars on a variety of issues such as the environment.

“We have divided various groups into sub-committees. There’s the health and safety committees, others responsible for kitchen and food, security and cleaning, the church group and others.

Each of those committees take their role very seriously so people will find, for example, difficult to come through the front gate if they don’t make prior arrangements.”

The Christianity element is a priority. During the two-week duration, 20 ministers will make the pilgrimage to Petesa delivering 20 services.

“That’s right, our church group is tasked to identify and select Pastors over the next two weeks, it’s not easy.”

At the end of the day, La’auli says the camp is of utmost importance to preparing the Party and each member for Parliament.

“To be elected as a political leader is not something you take lightly, it’s not a toy that you play with for now and throw away tomorrow to be picked up at your leisure next month. No, its not.
“Some people say it’s a game, that’s wrong because to me this is a calling.

“So when you are bestowed the honour, it means you must pour everything that you have into it. You don’t do this half-half or on a trial basis. No, this is as real as it gets.

“If you are re-elected that is basically a testimonial from your constituency of how they view your service. And you can’t hide from that in public.”

Author: Aigaletaule’ale’ā F. Tauafiafi - Samoa Observer
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