Economist eyes Sagaga No.2. seat in Parliament
A 63-year-old Economist is hoping to be the next Member of Parliament for Sagaga No.2.
Vaotu'ua Michael Toevai is looking to unseat the Associate Minister of Works, Seiuli Ueligitone Seiuli, who is occupying the seat for the villages of Afega, Malie, and Tuana'i.
The father-of-five is flagging the Samoa First Political Party (S.F.P.P.) banner in the 2021 General Election.
"The first reason why I decided to run, is our land," Vaotu'ua told the Samoa Observer.
"That is one of the greatest concerns we have. I specifically want to get rid of the Land Title Registration Act (L.T.R.A.) 2008.
"Most people do not understand this, but that is a threat to our rights as owners of our lands.
"That's why we've been trying for the last three years to educate our people about the impact this has on our people. what we can see now is, our people are not paying attention to that, and I want to focus on that. We are still fighting for our land.
"I understand that land is important and so as the right of our people."
As an Economist, Vaotu'ua said he hopes to use his experience and knowledge to make sure that Samoa's economy is "shared with everyone in Samoa."
"I want to focus on ways that can make our economy grow and flourish," he said. "Tuilaepa is an economist, but the way he is handling things is not right. They are not doing the right thing to share the economy with the rest of our people."
The minimum wage is an example, Vaotu'ua added.
"The cost of living is climbing every day, but the minimum wage is still under $3. Those are some of the areas I want to focus on."
Vaotu'ua became a member of the Samoa Solidarity International Group (S.S.I.G.) before he joined S.F.P.P. but for the same reason.
"I am a strong supporter of their fight for our customary lands. It is something I am passionate about. That is why I joined."
While Vaotu'ua understands that the election race for the constituency is not going to be easy, he is optimistic.
"I am confident. I feel like I have done my part by serving the people and my family so I find peace and confidence in that."