S.N.D.P. Deputy Leader fights rejection

The Deputy leader of the Samoa National Democratic Party (S.N.D.P.), Vui Seinafolava Masinamua, is fighting the decision by the Office of the Electoral Commission to reject his nomination for the General Election.

Vui was amongst several that were rejected last week by the Electoral Commissioner. In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Vui said his nomination was denied because of his monotaga and not residing in Samoa for 305 days. 

And while he admits that he has been overseas for some time, he maintains he has a medical report that justifies his absence from the country in the past years.

The deputy Party leader had processed his nomination papers to contest the Fa’asaleleaga V seat in Savai’i.

“We’re going to Court now," he said. "The village mayor had signed my monotaga but later wrote to the Commissioner to withdraw his signature...I was told that I wasn’t in Samoa and was a permanent reside [in Australia].”

Vui denies being a permanent resident in Australia, claiming that the only reason why he was away and spent almost three years in Australia is due to his medical checkups. 

“I had a heart operation and the doctor had advised me to avoid traveling for at least three years,” he said. 

“But I left after two years because I wanted to come back to Samoa.”

His return to Samoa was also to accept the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi’s challenge to those criticising the Government to return to Samoa, and do some work if they have the guts. 

Vui maintained that he has always participated in the past general elections between 1982-2015 when he had a critical heart condition that required operation. 

Asked if he is saying that the records from the Immigration Authority are not right, he added that his records and documents speak for themselves.

In relation to his monotaga contribution to his village of Lano, the deputy party leader is confident that he satisfies the requirement under the electoral law. 

Furthermore, he claims that he has been rendering service to the village for many years and continues to do up until today.

He said a testament of his monotaga is his contribution to every church fundraising and in the development of the village’s famous band they had in the past.

Attempts are being made to contact the Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio for comment. 

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