Former Speaker of Parliament, Leota Ituau Ale, is taking on the Deputy Prime Minister, Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo, for the Anoama’a West seat in the General Elections.
And in confirming his candidacy yesterday, he said he is not rushing his traditional presentation to Solosolo after a Court order ruled in favour of his return to the village.
Instead, the former M.P is focusing on the election and will only make his traditional presentation after March. “I have changed my mind about making the presentation at this time,” said Leota.
“I think it’s a wise thing to leave it until the election is finished because other people will take it to Court and it can be interpreted as corruption and bribery.”
“There is always that question and doubt as the Court has the final say. But whether I win or lose I will make the presentation after (election).”
Looking at the election, Leota believes he has done enough to earn the support of his constituency.
The former Speaker first entered Parliament in 1970 when he was in his mid twenties. “I’m betting on the people of our constituency that they don’t forget the 20 years I’ve been in the House (parliament) and how I’ve helped their children in education and sports,” said Leota.
“I have never promised anyone anything but I have helped them with immigration paper work with many elders going to America, Australia and New Zealand to see their children there…there is a lot but I’ll leave it like that.”
Recalling the past, Leota chaired one of the first meetings of the Human Rights Protection Party in 1975 where the late Vaai Kolone was unanimously elected to be the Leader.
In the upcoming election, Leota will run as an Independent candidate.
At the age of 74, Leota feels he is “fortunate and blessed by God”.
While he does not want to make promises to the constituency of Anoama’a West on his plans if he wins, Leota said he would do his best to serve them.
Asked about his campaign, he said: “There is no better campaign than communicating with people.”