Pago Govt. official runs for Samoa office

An American Samoa government official, Pa’u Dr. Roy Ausage, is on the official nomination list of candidates to contest next year's General Election.

The Acting Director of the Department of the Youth and Women Affairs (D.Y.W.A.) in American Samoa is running for the Falelatai and Samatau constituency.

He will be up against the incumbent M.P. and Associate Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Taefu Lemi Taefu, as well as former Electric Power Corporation Chief, Tologata Tile Leia.

Pa’u – who is the owner of Transit Motel in Mulifanua – works full time in American Samoa and will be contesting under the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi [F.A.S.T.] banner.

The Electoral Act 2019 approved in Parliament in September had amendments to accommodate for the difficulties candidates could face due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Typically candidates must be in Samoa for 306 days a year in order to meet the residency requirements of the electoral law. But the number of days a candidate is allowed to have spent outside of the country has now more than doubled to 125 days.

However, in the case of the American Samoa government official, he said he’s fulfilled all the requirements to contest.

“There are exemptions allowed under the law and I have fulfilled them,” he said, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer. 

Eligible candidates who are stuck overseas must be in the country 14 days before the general election next April.

Prior to the establishment of the D.Y.W.A., Pa’u was the Executive Director of the American Samoa Office of Children and Youth after starting as a drug free counselor in the local Department of Education. 

He holds a master’s degree in education from San Diego State University, a master’s degree in human services from Capella University, and a bachelor's degree in public management from Golden Gate University.

He has also studied law at the Australian National University in Canberra and was the valedictorian of his graduating class at the American Samoa Community College. 

Last week, Tologata resigned from the E.P.C. after 33 years of service and will be contesting the seat under the Human Rights Protection Party [H.R.P.P.] banner.

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