Faleata rivalry heats up

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia 29 February 2016, 12:00AM

With less than a week away from the General Elections, the contest for the Faleata West seat is heating up. 

Former Member of Parliament for the constituency, Ale Vena Ale is claiming that rival and incumbent M.P Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi had not sought the views of his constituents. 

Ale is referring to claims from former Tautua Whip Leala that he had crossed the floor to being a Human Rights Protection Party member because it was what his constituency wanted. 

But Ale said this was untrue. 

“There was never a meeting from the constituency during Leala’s term to discuss this (political party),” said Ale. 

“It was his of own free will to switch party not the constituents.”

However, there is more to Leala’s switch and the newly-redefined boundaries for Faleata and urban seat, said Ale.

According to Ale during the process of re defining the boundaries, Leala sought the assistance of the chiefs of the constituency to push back the boundaries for Faleata West. 

“There was a lot of campaigning for that and we supported it,” recalled the matai from Toamua. 

“His intention was to push back the boundaries so he could run from the urban seat and leave the the customary electorate of Faleata, for us to compete in. 

“He didn’t stick to his word.  Instead his brother is running from that urban seat and he is still here. To me, he has betrayed the constituency and is a turncoat traitor.”

He added Leala should be voted out because Faleata West needs someone who will work for the development of the constituency and support government works. 

When contacted, Leala said it is true that he did not call the whole constituency to meet. 

He explained that he took the advice from his committees in each village of the constituency who had advised him on which party the voters preferred. 

“I have committees in different villages and faifeau who supported the change,” said Leala. 

“So to me, that is what they wanted and there is very little impact on what party I choose to go to. It would be selfish of me to not do what my supporters want me to do.”

He added that he wanted to meet with people of Toamua and villages of the other candidates but he had respected the candidates and decided not to. 

As for claims from Ale about leaving the Faleata electorate Leala denied them. 

He said that is Ale’s interpretation of it and all he wants to do is to concentrate on the election. 

“Let’s keep the peace and let the results speak for themselves,” said Leala. 

“I wish him all the best onFriday.”

Come this Friday, Ale said he is ready to win back the seat he had once held. 

He admits the competition is not easy with all the candidates being H.R.P.P. 

If he does win in the general election, Ale said he will fight for the  return of more than 135 acres of land belonging to Toamua, Aele and other villages of Faleata that the government now uses on lease. 

Another development he will focus on is protecting the marine life and reefs of the villages which most families rely on for their source of income. 


By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia 29 February 2016, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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