Second shot seals it

By Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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SERVE WITH HUMILITY: New Member of Parliament for Lefaga and Falease’ela, Toleafoa Ken Poutoa.

SERVE WITH HUMILITY: New Member of Parliament for Lefaga and Falease’ela, Toleafoa Ken Poutoa.

Third time lucky is what they usually say.

But for Lefaga and Falease’ela’s new Member of Parliament, Toleafoa Ken Poutoa, he nailed his opportunity on his second attempt.

Tomorrow, Toleafoa will be among the new M.P’s who will be lining up to be sworn in when the XVI Parliament meets for the first time. 

The former Director of the Board of the Samoa Shipping Corporation succeeds the long serving M.P., Le Mamea Ropati Mualia, who has been appointed as a Member of the Council of Deputies.

As the new M.P for Lefaga and Falease’ela, Toleafoa said the verdict by his constituency has made him “very happy.”

“I am also very honoured,” he said. “And I owe everything to God; because if it weren’t for Him, I wouldn’t have made it this far.”

This is the second time Toleafoa has contested the General Elections. 

The 49-year-old ran against Le Mamea and other candidates in 2011 but he was unsuccessful. 

But that did not crush his hopes and it did not diminish his desire to become a Member of Parliament. 

“I felt that this was God’s plan for me and I had to follow it through,” he said.

“So although I failed the first time I tried, I knew I had to try again and I think this is the right time for me to make a greater contribution to my constituency and Samoa as well.”

Toleafoa believes that all callings are from God.

“I didn’t think I would end up here, but I had faith in God.” 

His pre-election journey was not easy, he admitted. 

Five other candidates aside from Toleafoa were vying for the seat, including former C.E.O of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, Masinalupe Tusipa Venu. 

Other candidates were Lemalu Nele Leilua, Lemalu Siliva Taupau, Su’a Tanielu Faiaoga and Unasa Iulia Petelo. 

Toleafoa won the race with 945 votes. 

He did not want to reveal his plans for the future; however, Toleafoa said he will serve his constituency with “humility.”

“I am a servant and I will be my constituent’s hands and feet [lima ma vae] for the next five years.”

Toleafoa is the husband of Vaela’a Poutoa and the father of Winniefret Poutoa. 

He grew up in the village of Falease’ela, and is an old student of Marist School, Saint Joseph’s College and Samoa College.

Toleafoa was involved with running their family businesses after graduating from Samoa College. 

He has served his village and constituency ever since and was made mayor of Falease’ela.

Toleafoa is a businessman and prior to this new post, he was the Director of the Board for the Samoa Shipping Corporation. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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