Teacher seeks to swap classroom for Parliament
Liutagata Poe Elaga, a teacher at Nu'uausala College, is seeking to swap the classroom for Parliament by running for the Sagaga No. 4 seat in Parliament at the 2021 general election.
On Monday, Liutagata, who is from Nono'a Saleimoa, completed the nomination process to run for the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.).
"We all know why people get into the political lane; it is the determination to be a part of the Parliamentary processes, but not only this, it is the service that comes with it," he told the Samoa Observer on Monday.
"Not only a service to the country but also the Church. It is the development of our villages, our constituency and people that is also a push for each and every one of us to take part. Truthfully, there are improvements in our constituencies that we all want to be done."
Sagaga no. 4 includes Levi, Lotoso'a, Malua, Nono'a, Fatitu, Salepouae, Tufulele, Utualii and Alamutu.
The 60-year-old said the most needed developments in their area are inland road works and improvements to their educational facilities.
Another key issue is better healthcare for the people of his constituency, he said.
Liutagata said despite detecting an outcry for change in some corners of the electorate, that does not outweigh his belief that H.R.P.P. has done many great things for Samoa and will continue to do so.
"In the nearly 30 years the H.R.P.P. has been in Government, in my view they have done a tremendous job," he said.
"Even though people continue saying [we need] to change the Government, in truth, they do not know who to change it to.
“There continues to be prosperity for Samoa through the leaders we currently have under H.R.P.P."
Liutagata is currently teaching English, business studies and Samoan at Nu'uausala College in Nofoali'i, a Mission school of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa.
Although he was not always a teacher.
Liutagata said he was a public servant for many years, starting at the Ministry of Public Works back in the day and the Electric Power Corporation, before moving overseas for over 20 years.