Former A.C.E.O. to contest election
Former Assistant Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries [M.A.F.] in Savaii, Unasa Viane Toala, is among the new candidates contesting next April’s election.
The 36-year-old Unasa will be contesting the Fa'asaleleaga No. 4 seat under the banner of the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party.
He will be coming up against a field of candidates that include the incumbent M.P. and Associate Minister of Health, Tofa Foleni Lio as well as Tea Tooala Peato, Tooala Unasa Tiatia and Unasa Tauheia Levaai.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer on Thursday, Unasa said his candidacy is motivated by the belief that Samoa needs a change of Government.
He said F.A.S.T. was the political party chosen by his village, as well as the constituency.
Unasa is the son of Solitua Faaluma from Lefaga and Aita Toala from Siufaga, Savaii. He is married.
Education and Agriculture was listed by the former Government official as his top policy priorities, should he win the seat.
"In the constituency, our school facilities need to be improved. And going into the buildings, teachers' capacities need to be upgraded, but also ensure that there are enough teachers," he said.
"Our constituency also needs to be pushed to work the land, develop our lands and our fisheries sector. This is something that needs to be looked at again."
Unasa said that as long as there exists the looming threat of COVID-19 and an opportunity for Samoa to export, farmers must return to work the land and develop Samoa's agricultural sector.
"Our people will not look elsewhere, only the agriculture and fisheries for food. There is also the Savaiian Food Produce who exports frozen goods, there are opportunities, but the supply is not enough," he added.
"I aim to increase the level of farming and fisheries as well as opportunities available to our people should I make it into Office."
Faasaleleaga No. 4 constituency comprises Faga, Siufaga, Saipini, Luua, Malae, Salimu, Saasaai and Saipipi.
Unasa graduated from the University of the South Pacific where he obtained his bachelor's degree and postgraduate masters diploma in agriculture.
He has been in the public service, primarily with the M.A.F. for 15 years.