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La'auli's female counterpart offers him well wishes

Member of Parliament, Fa'aulusau Rosa Duffy-Stowers, has sent her former election rival La'aulialemalietoa Leuatea Schmidt her well wishes on his plans for the future.

The M.P. was La'auli’s only opponent for the Gagaifomauga No. 3 Constituency seat in the 2016 General Election and was defeated by the former Speaker and Cabinet Minister, which made him the official M.P. of the constituency.

But Fa'aulusau went on to create history after the election, after she became the first M.P. to be recognised as the 50th member of the Legislative Assembly back in 2016. 

She also became the first female candidate to enter Parliament as a result of a Constitutional amendment that required Parliament to have at least five female Members of Parliament.

Contacted for comment on Monday, Fa'aulusau told the Samoa Observer that what happened to La'auli was unfortunate, but she cannot comment further on the issue.

"It's just that it's sad to see what happened to La'auli and how things unfolded for him,” she said in an interview. 

“I always believed that we would always work together in Parliament and represent the seat [of Gagaifomauga] because he is the official representative.

"But other than that, I have no further comments."

Asked if she plans to re-contest the seat against La'auli during the by-election, Fa'aulusau said there is no need for her to run again as she’s already in the Parliament.

"I have no intention of contesting because I am [still] inside [Parliament]," she told Samoa Observer. 

"If I contest, it will mean I am disregarding the seat I am occupying as a result of a Constitutional amendment, requiring Parliament to have at least five female members. 

"If I let it go and I go ahead and contest, it will mean that I am ignoring the seat that I occupy now. Plus, there is no guarantee that I will return or not. I am also mindful of the cost that [will be] involved. 

"That is because if I do that [contest] and lose, the Government and Parliament will have to find a way to get another woman to make up the five. 

"At any given time, there should always be five women in Parliament.”

In the 2016 General Election, Fa'aulusau ran against the former Speaker of the House and had the backing of her villages, Letui and Aopo. 

Fast forward to 2020, Letui, Fagae'e and Sasina are now behind La'auli which leaves Aopo as the only village that is not backing the outgoing M.P. for Gagaifomauga No.3. 

Asked if she knows the decision of her village of Aopo, Fa'aulusau replied saying: "I can not speak on behalf of the village [of Aopo]. 

"They make their own decision and whatever decision they make, that is up to them. They have the right to decide on what they want."

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