La'auli confident about by-election.

Former Parliamentarian, La'aulialemalietoa Leuatea Schmidt, is confident about the outcome of the upcoming by-election for the Gagaifomauga No.3 constituency.  

The former Minister is confident that his constituency will return him to office as their representative. 

The ruling Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) said that they would not field any candidate to contest the upcoming by-election - news that the Former Speaker of Parliament said made him laugh. 

"The Prime Minister is now speaking my language," La'auli told the Samoa Observer.

"He is now saying that we all have to go back to the constituency for a decision. I saw and heard that he said it is up to Alii and Faipule (matai) of the constituency to make a final decision. 

"And that is what I have been saying all this time. As I said, it is not up to me, it was never up to me, I am nothing but a servant who was chosen by the people. And those people make the decision. They have authority over me. It is not up to the candidates. 

"Whatever the constituents decide, that is what will happen."

However, La'auli said he was hoping to have a candidate from H.R.P.P. contending the upcoming by-election.  

He also said that he felt the by-election is a waste of time. 

"My wish was to bring in a H.R.P.P. candidate to go against me in the election. So what now?,” he asked.

“They have been beating me up, verbally, now that I am ready to go ahead with the by-election, and they are saying that they have no H.R.P.P. candidate? So why are we doing this? 

"Why are we wasting all this money on the by-election when we already know the outcome?

“You are all aware that the elders and the people of my constituency never wanted me to leave in the first place. 

"They are all behind me and that their hearts are with me. Unless there is someone there in the village who dares [to] go against the decision of the elders and [...] challenge me for the seat.

"You all have heard the constituents, they all want me to return as their representative. But I don't think highly of myself; now the ball is back to the village. They own the authority and they make the final decision."

The Prime Minister noted that the H.R.P.P. already has a representative for the seat 

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

The female MP became lost to La’auli in the 2016 poll but later became the first M.P. to be recognised as the 50th member of the Legislative Assembly after a constitutional amendment promoting the number of women in Parliament was passed. 

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

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

He made it clear that La’auli left the Government of 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 No. 3. 

Registration for voters from the Gagaifomauga N0.3 by-election closed on the 31st of July. 

The Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio, confirmed the polling day for the constituency.

Friday 28 August this year has been set as the date for the Gagaifomauga No. 3 constituents to participate in one of the most anticipated political events of the year.  

Nominations for candidates to contest the by-election are scheduled for next week.

The last day for withdrawal of nomination is on 14 August 2020. 

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