Falealupo to decide on candidate, but H.R.P.P. support unlikely
The village of Falealupo has yet to finalise whom they will collectively back as their candidate for next year's General Election.
But a paramount chief, Fuiono Denina Crichton, said the village is unlikely to back anyone who will stand for the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.).
"We have not finalised a decision," said Fuiono. "The village is having a meeting on Monday next week, and we will discuss the issues with candidates and finalise everything by then.
"We are aware that two candidates from Falealupo have already registered to fly the H.R.P.P. banner in the upcoming election. That is something we are not happy about. The main reason why we're not happy about it is that this village has been on the opposition side for so many years.
"Our current M.P., A'eau Peniamina Leavai, is one of the longest-serving M.Ps and he has been with the opposition party for many years.
"And we want to continue on being on the opposition side."
Fuiono said their village opposes a number of amendments done to the Constitution of Samoa.
"There are so many changes done by the current government that we do not agree with. A good example of that is the three bills that are currently being taken around to solicit the views and opinions of the country. We refused to accept the changes behind the bills when we met with the Committee," he said.
"This village does not make decisions overnight. We only come to up with a final decision after extensive discussions with all the elders and the Village council.
"So our decision to oppose the bills was made after we met several times. And once we reached that decision, we did not have a change of heart, and still, up to now, we still stand by our decision.
"That is how things are done here in Falealupo."
Fuiono reiterated that they have no plans of supporting the current government and the ruling H.R.P.P. party.
"Because this village has been on the other side (opposition) we have no plans of changing. We want to support a candidate who is running from a different party. We cannot force the other two candidates to change their minds because that is their decision.
"But the big question is, will the village support them? We rejected the bills that were designed and drafted by the government. "Therefore, we do not want to join them and be on their side when these bills are returned to Parliament."
Fuiono said the village has already registered a candidate to run as a candidate for the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) political party.
However, he could not reveal who that candidate is.
"We have also registered a candidate as a candidate for F.A.S.T. and by Monday next week, we will decide on whether we will go ahead and back that one candidate or not."
Attempts to get comments from Solia Iosefo Tanuvasa and Leota Tima Leavai, both who have already registered for the H.R.P.P. were unsuccessful.