No H.R.P.P. candidate, La'auli could return unopposed

Former Member of Parliament for Gagaifomauga No. 3, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Schmidt, could return to Parliament unopposed.

It follows a declaration from the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) that they will not field a candidate in the upcoming by-election.

Speaking to the media after candidates’ registration at Petesa on Tuesday, Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, said the decision is final.

“The party has decided that our current member, Faaulusau Rosa Stowers, is enough,” he said.

“The member (Faaulusau) is someone that is true to her party and her oath to remain loyal to her words to her constituency. 

“The only thing that is important to me and the party is the rule that once you have changed your party you have to return to the constituency to ask them again [if you should change party].”

Tuilaepa stressed that it is only right that when an M.P. decides to change their allegiance from the party, they should return to a by-election.

“That was the only wish from the party is to return to the constituency to renew his vow but the decision on who will be the member rests on the constituency,” said Tuilaepa. 

“We have decided that we will await with patience the by-election for the constituency and if they reelect La’auli that is their right to do so. 

“If they wish to have a member that is independent that is also the decision of the constituency but we have decided to await the outcome from the constituency with patience (tapuaia faiva ole itumalo)…” 

Prime Minister Tuilaepa said the decision from the party on not having a candidate for the by-election is testament that there is no dispute between him and La’auli. 

He made it clear that La’auli left on his own accord. 

La’auli’s seat was declared vacant by Speaker of the House, Leaupepe Toleafoa Faafisi two weeks ago and called for a by-election for Gagaifomauga no3. 

As for the decision by the Speaker Leaupepe, La’auli said they have humbled themselves and conceded to the decision for a by-election. 

In a recent interview with La’auli, he said the villages of Sasina, Fagaee and Letui have expressed their full support to back him for the by-election. 

The village of Aopo on the other hand, was schedule to meet and decide on whether they will back La’auli or nominate their own candidate. 

La'auli said regardless of this he still has to prepare himself for such events which are not easy. 

Speaking about the by-election, Tuilaepa said he has found out that there are 145 registered voters from Gagaifomauga no3 that are residing in Upolu and not thousands mentioned by La’auli. 

He accused La’auli of lying and added that he should have got confirmation by calling Vodafone to ask for the Electoral Office number to find out the right figures. 

“If you cannot do something so simply by finding the phone number then how can you become a leader,” he said. 

“It’s very simply and you can’t do it but leading the country is a lot more complicated.” 

The former M.P. for Gagaifomauga no3, had recently made comments that there are more or less about 600 to 700 voters from his constituency that are residing in Upolu. 

However, Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio said the official electoral data notes that there are 180 voters from Gagaifomauga no3 who reside in Upolu but vote in Savaii.

The office is currently carrying out a door to door registration in the Gagaifomauga no3 constituency which will be temporarily closed on Friday this week. 

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