The man taking on Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi at Lepa has a Court challenge to overcome if he is to contest the General Elections in March.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa has lodged an eligibility challenge against Tu’ula Kiliri Tuitui in the Supreme Court, in a bid for the Court to declare his opponent ineligible.
Tuilaepa’s petition is one of nine eligibility challenges confirmed by the Supreme Court yesterday evening.
According to documents obtained by the Samoa Observer, Tuilaepa’s challenge is based on Tu’ula’s three years service to the village in the form of a monotaga.
This is the second time Tu’ula has been challenged by the Prime Minister over the same issue. At the last General Elections, Tu’ula lost the fight and was unable to run.
The hearing of the challenge has now been adjourned until Friday 19 February 2016. The matter will be heard before the Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu.
Yesterday, the Court instructed that all applicants must file their affidavits by tomorrow while the respondents have until Friday to submit their response.
The first challenged was mentioned in Court on Monday. It was brought by Lotofaga M.P., Fiame Naomi Mataafa against her opponent Fiaola Iosua Lole, citing a traffic conviction.
Among the eight challenges mentioned yesterday was one being brought by the M.P for Palauli Le Falefa, Faumuia Tiatia Liuga, against his opponent Le Tagaloa Pita. Fauimuina claims his opponent does not qualify because he has not provided the necessary monotaga in the village. Faumuina is also challenging Tiatia Mapesone Malo’s residential qualification.
At Vaimauga West, M.P. Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveaua has lodged an electoral challenge against the Fuatimau Maumea Leniu, citing the three years residential requirement.
There is also a battle of the women at Gagaemauga No. 2 where Seuoti Sheryl Muagututia has filed a challenge against Semau Faamau Levi over her residential eligibility.
At Gagaifomauga No. 3, Speaker La’auli Polataivao Leuatea has filed a challenge against his only opponent, Faaulusau Rosa Duffy Stowers. Laauli claims that his female opponent has not provided the necessary monotaga as required by the law.
Out there at Aleipata Itupa I Luga, Leo’o Dr. John Adams’ candidacy has come under scrutiny. Incumbent M.P. Amituanai Fagaivalu Kenrick Samu and his supporters argue that Leo’o has not satisfied the three years monotaga requirement under the law.
Amituanai has also filed a second challenge against another opponent, Taula Faulaau Sini, citing a previous conviction.
At Anoama’a West, Leota Leuluaialii Ituau Ale is facing an eligibility challenge from the Ali’i ma Faipule of Solosolo, namely Leota Seuili Visesio Seufata and others.