The man taking on the most powerful politician in the country in the form of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi is certainly a brave man. But Tu’ulā Kiliri Lafi Tuitui is not cocky either.
Rather, the Lepa candidate says he believes that this is his time to shine and with God’s help, he is confident he can win the 'David vs Goliath' battle.
Apart from declaring his candidacy with the Tautua Samoa Party, Tu’ulā registered his candidacy on Monday and today, he said he is ready. But don't expect Tu’ula to say anything negative about his opponent.
“I admit that I can’t take down the Prime Minister but with God’s help and his guidance, anything is possible,” he said.
Tu’ula said he respects the Prime Minister and he acknowledges all that he has done for the constituency during the past years.
“I can’t say anything (bad) about Tuilaepa. I respect him because he is the Member of Parliament for our district and he is also the leader of our country.”
“He can say whatever he wants to say. He can pick me up, slam me down, drop me, kick me sideways but that’s okay.”
Tu’ulā said he is not prepared to reveal any of his plans or any reasons why he wants to contest the election.
All he can say is that he has a plan for things he wants to do if he wins. He said he has been been preparing for this Election for more than five years. He prayed to “Yahweh” for guidance and the strength.
“Yahweh” is the Hebrew word for God. “He is my strength and my provider,” he said. “I pray and I kneel before him every night and every day for support and help. I’ve also been fasting and I’ve been looking forward to this day.” Tu’ulā denies claims that he has been forced to run against the Prime Minister by the Opposition Party.
“No one asked me to run,” he said.
“I’ve been preparing for a long time now. For more than five years, I’ve been working and looking forward to the elections.” He said going up against the Prime Minister is difficult because he knows that Tuilaepa has power, resources and everything.
Tu’ulā had worked at the Electrical Power Corporation for nine and half years in the Metering and Engineering Section. He resigned in 2007 and set up his first business, the K1 Car Wash at Vaimoso, followed by the K1 Electrical Company.
Tu’ulā is the eldest son of Lafi Tuitui and Faapito Fili Pe’epe’e of Saleapaga, Vailoa Aleipata and Avao Savai’i. He is married to Carolyn Tuitui with five children.
Tu’ulā is a member of the New Zealand-based Congregation called Netzarim Religion.