Falealupo backs paramount chief as F.A.S.T. candidate
The village of Falealupo has resolved to collectively support the paramount chief of the district, Fuiono Denina Crichton, as their candidate in 2021 General Election.
The village traveled to Upolu over the weekend to officially endorse Fuiono, before the Chairman and members of the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) political party, at party headquarters at Vaitele.
Flanked by matai from Falealupo, Fuiono was officially registered as a candidate for F.A.S.T.
The Falealupo seat is currently occupied by veteran M.P. and member of Tautua Samoa Party, A'eau Peniamina Leavai.
Attempts made to get a comment from Fuiono were unsuccessful.
However, in a recent interview, Fuiono said that the village had met several times to decide on a candidate they would support collectively.
"We are aware that two candidates from Falealupo have already registered to fly the [Human Rights Protection Party] 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 Members of Parliament 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 currently proposed amendments to the Constitution of Samoa through the controversial Land and Titles Court legislation.
"There are so many changes [proposed] by the current Government that we do not agree with," he said.
"A good example of that is the three [Land and Titles Court] bills that are currently being taken around [...] the country [to solicit the public's ⁶feedback on their impact].
"We refused to accept the changes behind the bills when we met with the [Special Parliamentary] Committee.
"This village does not make decisions overnight. We only came 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.
"Because this village has been on the other side (opposition) we have no plans of changing."
It is understood that two other candidates from Falealupo have already registered with the ruling H.R.P.P. They are Solia Solia Iosefo Tanuvasa and Leota A'eau Tima Leavai.