Court disqualifies P.M.'s opponent

A man who has been denied twice from running against Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, in the general election, has been prevented from running again.

For the third time, Tu’ula Kiliri Tuitui, of Saleapaga's bid to compete in the Lepa territorial constituency has been quashed, with the Supreme Court disqualifying his nomination.

The decision was delivered on Friday after another Lepa candidate, Faletagoai Tausaga, of Aufaga, challenged the eligibility of the Tautua Samoa Party candidate. 

Faletagoai claimed that Tu’ula did not render his monotaga [village service] for three consecutive years in the village of Saleapaga. 

Justice Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma delivered the decision to a full house in the courtroom. Justice Fepulea'i and the Acting Chief Justice, Her Honour Niava Mata Tuatagaloa, presided.

Justice Roma ordered to disqualify Tu’ula with $5000 costs awarded to Faletagoai.  Tu’ula was represented by lawyer, Unasa Iuni Sapolu, while Aumua Ming Leung Wai acted on behalf of Faletagoai. 

When contacted for a comment, the disqualified candidate said he was in a meeting. 

In two previous general elections, Tu’ula was disqualified for not meeting the threshold requirement for his monotaga service. 

He is one of two candidates that were recently approved by the Electoral Commissioner to contest the Prime Minister. 

Now that the candidate is disqualified Faletagoai is now the sole opponent of the Prime Minister. 

After his nomination was approved last month, Tu’ula was happy in getting closer to realizing his dream of running in the election. 

But despite that he was wary of the possibility of having his nomination challenged in court. 

Since he attempted to run for office in the past, Tu’ula has been fighting in the Land and Titles Court to have his banished family return to the village of Saleapaga. 

In July this year the L.T.C. dismissed the decision from the village to banish the family of Tu’ula. 


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