Tautua Samoa's Savai'i campaign delayed

Plans by the Tautua Samoa Party to kick off its campaign in Savai’i this week has been scuttled by election petitions that two of its candidates are currently fighting.

Tautua Samoa President, Afualo Dr. Wood Salele, confirmed when contacted by the Samoa Observer that their awareness in Savai’i to showcase their candidates has been postponed. 

He said there are two members of their party who are facing election petitions and would not be able to attend the event. 

Consequently, the event at the Apita Pisaga Hall in Salelologa, Savai’i has now been deferred to Thursday 3 December. 

The party’s two candidates, whose fate as aspiring politicians remains in the air while the matter is still in court, include Tu’ula Kiliri Tuitui and Su’a Samuelu Sua.

Tu’ula, who is running against Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi for the Lepa seat, initially had his nomination approved only to be challenged by another rival candidate, Faletagoai Talosaga who claims he does not satisfy the monotaga requirement.  

It is not the first time he has put his hands up to take on Samoa and the Commonwealth’s longest serving Prime Minister.

The election petition against Tu’ula has been heard with the decision reserved for 27 November 2020.

Su’a Samuelu Sua wanted to contest the Aleipata Itupa I Luga constituency seat, only to have his nomination rejected by the Electoral Commissioner last month, due to his matai title being registered late. 

His matter will be heard in court this Friday and next Monday.

The former opposition party has announced a total of 15 candidates to contest the seats in the Parliament. Only one of the 15 candidates had his nomination rejected.

They include two women, Fiso Taranaki Mailei who is running for the Palauli 3 seat and Su’a Vivian Betham Leota-Suatele for the Fa’asaleleaga 2 constituency. 

Candidates from Tautua Samoa range from former public servants to candidates with extensive private sector experience. 

Afualo is the only former Member of Parliament who is captaining the boat for Tautua Samoa and will contest the Salega 1 seat. Those who have contested in previous elections include Vaea Ivana Eli running for the Vaimauga 4 constituency, Fiso Taranaki Mailei for Palauli 3 and Leota Suatele Manusegi Tufele of Safata 2. 

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