Age is just a number

At the age of 80, many people would be well into their retirement.

But for Faaso’otauloa Taulapapa Pati, his return to Parliament after Friday’s General Election means he would be spending the next five years making decisions for the country. 

Fa’asootauloa won the seat for Gagaemauga No. 2 with 201 votes.  Speaking to the Samoa Observer yesterday, Fa’asootauloa said despite his old age he knows God has plans for him. 

“People look at your physical appearance but God looks at your heart,” said Fa’asootauloa.  “God has called me to serve my constituency. No one can refuse a calling from God and for that I am humbled and I pray for peace amongst us.”

Fa’asootauloa first entered parliament in 1991 – 1996 where he held the portfolio of Minister of Natural Resources and Environment. 

He served three terms in Parliament where he was the Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Women, Community and Social Development. 

It wasn’t until the 2006 general election that he lost his seat.

“There were suggestions that I should go ahead with a petition at the time but I declined,” recalled the elderly M.P. 

“I said to myself that the sun will rise again and it has. I feel privileged to be here.”

Just like many constituencies, the basic developments like clean water supply, seawalls, education and employment opportunities are on the priority list for Gagaemauga No. 2, which comprises of Saleaula in Savaii and Salamumu in Upolu. 

The M.P said from there on he will work according to what the needs are from his constituency.  Remembering the past, Fa’asootauloa said there has always been an Opposition. 

While things have slightly changed, he recalled that in the past the required number to set up a party was around 12 M.Ps. 

However, that has changed to eight.  “It was around 12 to 14 members during that time to have a party and to oppose the government,” he said.  “The number dropped down considering the important role of the Opposition but right now there is no longer one.”

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