The former Associate Minister of Health, Maualaivao Pat Ah Him, has filed an election petition against the Member of Parliament for the Urban West seat, Faumuina Wayne Fong.
Maualaivao has also named another election candidate for the seat, Matafeo Dan Aiafi as well as the Office of the Electoral Commissioner in his lawsuit.
This was confirmed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, Papali’i John Taimalelagi, yesterday.
Contrary to reports that there were only five petitions, Papali’i yesterday clarified that there were in fact six.
The other five petitions involve:
• Lafaitele Patrick Leiataualesa vs Aliimalemalemanu Alofa Tuuau
• Ale Vena Ale vs Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi and the Office of the Electoral Commissioner
• Palusalue Faapo II vs Leaana Ronnie Posini and Manualesagalala Enokati Posala
• Anae Misa Pita vs Taefu Lemi
• Aiono Tile Gafa vs Leaupepe Toleafoa Fa’afisi
According to Papali’i, all petitions have been referred the Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu for a review and to set a mention date.
The C.E.O also confirmed three other election-related criminal matters*.
These matters involve criminal charges against two standing Members of Parliament. They are Sala Fata Pinati, of Gagaemauga No 1 and Pau Sefo Pau of Faasaleleaga No. 2.
The third matter involves a voter from Gagaemauga No.3.
According to Papali’i, the basis of the election petitions centre on bribery, treating and allegations of corruption in relation to voting laws.
It’s not the Member of Parliament
*A story titled “Speaker accused” in yesterday’s Samoa Observer mentioned Nafo’i Talaimanu Keti as one of the Members of Parliament implicated in one of the private criminal prosecutions. This was not correct. While the name of the person implicated is similar, it is in fact not the Member of Parliament. The error is regretted.