Defeated Salega West candidate and former Member of Parliament, Afualo Dr. Wood Salele, is not bitter.
Having lost the seat to To’omata Aki Tuipea who polled 648 votes to Afualo’s 408, the Tautua Samoa Party stalwart said life goes on and there is plenty to do away from politics.
“God has different callings for all of us,” he said. I am an academic; regardless of what’s going to happen, there is always going to be a place for me somewhere here, a place where my help is much needed.”
As for the election result, he said he was shocked.
“It was unexpected,” he said. “I know that we weren’t the only candidates who contested in the election with the desires to win, but we did not see this coming.”
Afualo was among a handful of Tautua candidates – including Party leader Palusalue Faapo II – to lose their seats.
“We are hoping for the best,” he said. “We still have to wait for the final count of the special votes.”
He is also certain that there will be a lot of Court petitions filed next week.
In the meantime, Afualo said their main focus now is to make sure they have a strong opposition party.
“We have to have an opposition party to evaluate and question the decisions made by the government,” he said. “The Tautua party still exists. I am grateful to Olo, Aeau and Ili for standing up for Tautua. This means that there is still hope. They will still exist in Parliament as Tautua members but they will not be officially recognised as an opposition.”
Afualo also maintains that “bribery influenced the result of the election”.
Asked to provide evidence, Afualo said the petitions which will be filed next week will tell the full story.
“God did not choose most of the new members. It was a decision based on a box of chicken [pusa moa] and money.”
Personally, Afualo said he felt honoured to have represented his constituency in Parliament.
“It will not be the end of the world for me, the show goes on and so does life,” he said.
“I tell you, there are a lot of jobs out there that God wants me to do. I can use my God-given gifts in other areas.”
Having said that, he said he will consider pursuing his dream of writing a book.
“I’ve given it a lot of thought and I might consider doing it,” he said. “I will pour out my soul and use my academic gift from God along with my experience on the field of politics to pursue that dream.
“I want to write about election process in Samoa so that our future generation and children can use as a vital reference when they do research or when they want to learn about how election is done in Samoa.”
He is yet to consider his other options for the future.
“I can go back as a senior lecturer at the University of the South Pacific or a University overseas or I can be a consultant. There is so much there for me to do.”
In his final remarks, Afualo said there is still hope for the Tautua party to shine in the future.
“You know maybe this is the H.R.P.P’s time, but the reality of things is that no one and nothing will stand tall forever. Nothing lasts forever.”
In that regard, he used the *law of diminishing returns from economic to elaborate his argument.
“You can accumulate all your resources to build up your business to the highest level, but at some stage, there will always be a turning point where it will eventually fall down.
“And in my opinion, H.R.P.P has now reached the top, and I believe that in the future, even if they add more members they will see their turning point and fall. Like any other empire.”
Afualo Dr. Wood Uti Salele is 58 years old and he is married Rosemarie Wood Salele.
*Law of diminishing returns states that in all productive processes adding more of one factor of production, while holding all other factors constantly will at some point yield lower incremental per-units returns.