Former Works C.E.O. eyes seat in Parliament
The former Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Toelupe Poumulinuku Onesemo, is running for Parliament.
The official list of candidates from the Office of the Electoral Commission shows that the former senior public servant is contesting the Falealili No. 1 constituency seat.
He is flying the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) banner and will be up against five other candidates.
His rivals include incumbent Member of Parliament, Aumua Isaia Lameko, Former Assistant Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lupeomanu Pelenato Fonoti, Pinofoaga Paneki Epati, Teo Uuvalu Mauga and former Member of Parliament, Tupuola Misi Tupuola.
Toelupe – who is a civil engineer by profession and a certified teacher – was appointed into the C.E.O. position at the Ministry of Works in 2015. At the time, he was the A.C.E.O. for the Planning and Urban Management Agency [P.U.M.A.] under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
He holds a masters in engineering science [civil engineering] and a bachelor of engineering from the University of New South Wales, Australia. He also holds a bachelor of science [mathematics with statistics and physics] from the University of the South Pacific as well as a secondary trained teachers certificate and a diploma in education.
Toelupe has worked both locally and overseas since 2002 and has been an executive on Government boards including the Land and Transport Authority board of directors and worked as a teacher in Samoa from 1994-1999.
Toelupe hails from the villages of Tufuiopa, Fasitoouta and Vavau Lotofaga. Prior to moving to Samoa, he was a lay preacher for the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa in Sydney.
Asked for a comment, Toelupe declined.