Brothers fight for Palauli III seat
The sons of a former Member of Parliament will go head to head in a fight to secure the Palauli III seat in the General Elections next year.
Aiolupotea Toni Leleisiuao has confirmed his candidacy with the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) where he will be up against his older brother and incumbent Member of Parliament, Tuifaasisina Risati Palemene.
Tuifa'asisina is also a member of the H.R.P.P. and is currently the Associate Minister of the Ministry of Public Enterprises.
The men are the sons of former Cabinet Minister and Member of Parliament for Palauli East, Aiolupotea Tuifa'asisina Palemene.
Aiolupotea Toni is currently the Assistant Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Speaking to the Samoa Observer, the Head of M.A.F's Livestock division said his decision to contest in the 2021 General Election is to fulfil the wish of his village of Vailoa Palauli.
Asked if he would reconsider competing against his own brother for the same seat and for the same political party, the younger brother said the decision is final.
“He has done his work and developments during his tenure," Aiolupotea Toni said.
"But as I mentioned, this is the decision from the village."
The candidate his brother knows he is running and it is up to him if he chooses to run.
"He still has the chance to run," he said. "But I can’t deny the will of the village.”
Contacted for a comment, Associate Minister Tuifaasisina said he is disappointed about his younger brother's decision.
"It's embarrassing," said the incumbent M.P. for Palauli East.
"Our village is divided and those that supported him are only some of the villagers. I'm the official candidate for H.R.P.P. and we will just fight our teeth out."
Aiolupotea Toni, 56, hopes to use his more than 20 years of experience in the agriculture sector to develop the land and the marine life of the district to help farmers and fishermen for better way of living
He also made reference to tourism attractions in the district that would also benefit the constituents.