Fiumalosi eyes Salega seat

A 51-year-old man has put his hands up to run as an independent candidate for the Salega No. 1 seat in the 2021 General Election.

Fiumalosi Afualo Fereti Mamoe, who has five children and is from Samata-uta village, will run as an independent candidate. 

The Salega No. 1 seat is currently occupied by To'omata Aki Tuipea, who is a member of the Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Committee.

In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Fiumalosi said there are people in his village who are public servants and more suitable to run for public office, but he feels he has a role to play for his village and constituency. He also said he wanted to contest the next general election before he was in his 60s.

"Running for the election is a golden opportunity. I mean I probably wouldn’t be able to run for the election when I’m 60 years old," Fiumalosi added.

"Also, I want to serve my constituency, and my village [Samata-uta] doesn’t have a representative yet, while all the other villages already have their representatives."

Fiumalosi – who was bestowed with his matai title in 2014 at Samata-uta and started his monotaga in 2015 – emphasised his monotaga was never done for political gain, though it was solely his responsibility. 

In terms of his policy platform and priority areas if elected, Fiumalosi picked water supply, the deteriorating road condition, and dropping living standards.

"At the moment, our village at Samata-i-uta has issues with the water supply, whereby the water supply is cut off at around 10pm and is only turned on at 6am the next day.

"So when families have a family faalavelave, they’ll call in the Samoa Water Authority or request if the water supply can be extended after 10pm. 

"Another thing I’m looking into is unconstructed roads and I know the Government is making progress. But in my opinion, if the MP is someone who is driven and responsible, then he would at least take a portion of his salary to help improve these roads because it’s not his salary.

"It’s the constituency’s salary and should be utilised for the improvement of the constituency and not when it’s only near the election for campaigning that the MP start bringing out their pay."

Fiumalosi also talked about his decision to contest as an independent candidate, saying it was a deliberate choice. 

"Going as an independent member because if I join a party, say Human Rights Protection Party [H.R.P.P.], then there would be people in the constituency who would be in favour, but what about those who are not in favour?"

"If all is a success then I would still remain an independent member, I don’t want to be like other independent members, who are independent yet they’re [still] under the umbrella of a particular party."

Fiumalosi is currently unemployed and resides in Vaitele-uta with his family where he has a little market selling fresh produce to support his family.

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