Leulumoega Village Council denies claim
The Leulumoega Village Council has dismissed claims they ousted Sinaifoa Vaimoana So’oa’emalelagi in a disagreement over his candidacy with the Fa'atuatua i Le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party.
“That is not true, that issue has nothing to do with [Sinaifoa’s] candidacy with [F.A.S.T.]” said Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Lei'ataua in an interview with the Samoa Observer.
The former Speaker of Parliament said the ousting of the F.A.S.T. candidate occurred two years ago and is unrelated to election matters.
“[Sinaifoa] was ousted from the Village back in April 2018 and was only accepted back into Village Council in January this year,” the high chief of Leulumoega said.
“Normally we meet in November each year for issues pertaining to village affairs before we welcome the New Year and in 2018 [Sinaifoa’s] matter was not brought before the village then, until this year.
“And so it’s 11 months since he was allowed back in the village.”
Sinaifoa confirmed with the Samoa Observer that he was in fact ousted by the Village Council in 2018 when contacted for a comment.
Sinaifoa is running for the A’ana o Alofi No. 3 seat.
His candidacy is being challenged by Leiataualesa Fa’aui Niuapu in court.
The matter will be heard before Acting Chief Justice, Her Honour Niava Mata Tuatagaloa and Supreme Court Justice Tologata Tafaoimalo Tuala-Warren on November 17 and 18.
Leiataualesa is contesting the seat under the banner of the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.).
In July, Tolofua registered to contest the A’ana Alofi No. 3 seat currently occupied by Tautua Samoa Party candidate, IlI Setefano Ta’ateo
But the former Minister of Women, Community and Social Development, registered to contest the seat but later withdrew his candidacy to allow another matai from their village to run in the election.
But the former Speaker said despite his eagerness to run again and being a former M.P., he has decided to sit out the upcoming election.
“I have decided to follow the saying, he who conquers his impulses is greater than he who conquers the fortress,” Tolofua told the H.R.P.P. caucus last month.
Tolofua added he has decided to hand over the floor to Lei'ataua Niuapu Leiataualesa to contest the seat during the election.