Salelologa to discuss candidate's withdrawal

The village of Salelologa in Savai'i will meet Monday at 4pm to discuss the decision of local election candidate, Fiu Gasologa, to withdraw his nomination for the election. 

The village will invite the businessman to attend the meeting and explain the reason behind the withdrawal of his name from the elections. 

This was confirmed by a Spokesperson and chief of the village of Salelologa, Taotua Ioane. 

When the Samoa Observer visited Taotua at his home at Salelologa, the chief said he was not "officially informed" of Fiu Gasologa's decision. 

"I cannot say much because the village has not discussed the matter," Taotua said. 

"You see, we are hearing all sorts of rumors that Fiu has withdrawn his nomination, but he has not officially informed us. 

"The other chief for one of the sub-villages (pitonu'u) was the one who called me on Thursday and informed me about Fiu's decision. 

"As I told your newspaper before, we had endorsed both Sili Epa and Fiu's candidacies. That has not changed. 

"I told the chief who called me, to tell Fiu, he should come and explain the reason why he made that decision because he isn't a candidate for that sub-village alone. 

"No, the whole village endorsed his candidacy and we are supporting him, therefore he should explain to us why he made that decision.

"But let's wait until Monday. You can come to the meeting or give me a call after our meeting on Monday and I will be able to answer any further questions. 

"But that's all I can say for now."

Attempts to get comments from Fiu Gasologa were unsuccessful. 

On Thursday, the businessman who registered as a candidate to challenge the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, for the Faasaleleaga Number 1 seat withdrew his name from the race.

Fiu Gasologa Foloki withdrew his candidacy on the eve of a legal battle with the Minister, who has opted to go to the Supreme Court to question his political rival’s eligibility.

However, the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, withdrew his election petition against Fiu the next morning. 

The decision was confirmed by Sili's lawyer, Fepuleai Patrick Fepuleai, at the Supreme Court on Friday morning. 

Last week, the village of Salelologa met to discuss a petition filed by the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, against businessman and candidate, Fiu Gasologa Foloki. 

The spokesperson for Salelologa, Taotua Ioane, said the village decided to ask Sili to withdraw his case. 

“Should he decide to proceed with the case – then he should be prepared to be removed from Salelologa.” 

The withdrawn of Fiu's candidacy will leave only a female candidate, flying the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) banner, Matamua Vasati, to challenge Sili in the election.

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