The Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau, has one less election foe to worry about ahead of next week’s election.
This follows the decision by Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu to declare Fuatimau Maumea Leniu’s candidacy void.
In doing so, the Court agreed with Tuisugaletaua’s claim that Fuatimau does not meet the three-year residential requirement under the Electoral Amendment Act 2015 to allow him to be a candidate at Vaimauga Sasae.
The Minister was represented by lawyer Taulapapa Brenda Heather Latu while Fuatimau was represented by Leiataualesa Jerry Brunt.
The Court’s decision not only disqualifies Fuatimau, the cost of $1,000 was also awarded against him.
The hearing of the matter was on Monday. Tuisugaletaua not only challenged his opponent’s residential qualification, he also claimed that he had not rendered a monotaga to his village of Lauli’i.
Fuatimau rejected all the claims.
The decision means that Tuisugaletaua will now be up against Sulamanaia Fetaiai Tuivasa and Tafaese Uili Lautua.