Deputy Speaker appeals to election opponent
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Nafoitoa Talaimanu Keti, has appealed to his election opponent to reconsider his decision to compete against him in the upcoming general election.
Nafoitoa, is the incumbent M.P. for Gagaemauga No3, gave a passionate speech in Parliament on Tuesday during debate on the Supplementary Budget 2020-2021 and singled out his only opponent who is a deacon.
Seuamuli Fasi Toma will contest the seat under the banner of the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party.
The incumbent M.P. said the deacon has been sullied with political ambition.
In the upcoming election, the constituency will be renamed Gagaemauga No2, following new amendments redefining boundaries for certain districts.
Nafoitoa referred to an incident in the past where their constituency made an appeal to stop the construction of a district hospital to preserve its “cultural honorifics”.
He spoke of the blessings and encouragement he received from Seuamuli at that time in front of the constituency to continue his calling as Member of Parliament.
"The truth is, my ears are still ringing with your words of encouragement and blessings for the continuation of my service as Member of Parliament," said Nafoitoa.
He said he would never forget those words because from that day it was a message that an election was unlikely as he would run unopposed.
Nafoitoa then urged his opponent not to be swayed with external words but to keep the spirit of harmony and maintain peace within their village.
At this point the leader of F.A.S.T. party, La’auli Leuatea Schmidt took the floor, and reminded the Deputy Speaker of Standing Orders in relation to speaking about people, in this instance a deacon, who is unable to respond.
“I have observed that it appears that the member [Nafoitoa] is afraid and sounds worried,” said La’auli.
“The elder deacon cannot respond to explain why he is running, and I would like to remind the member about our Standing Orders.”
The F.A.S.T. Leader told the Member to abstain from inciting speech.
But Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi rebutted La’auli over his point of order.
In making a point of correction, Tuilaepa said La’auli should take the floor to express his views then sit down instead of prolonging his speech.
The F.A.S.T. Leader was then accused by the Prime Minister of stirring up the peace within the constituency by pushing the candidate to contest.
“He stirs the peace, and then he stands up and interrupts the speech [by Nafoitoa] because it hurt his feelings,” he added.
“That is what happens for getting involved.”
However La’auli did not want the Prime Minister to have the last say.
He interjected saying it was in fact the Prime Minister who is hurt by the truth as it is he (Tuilaepa) who speaks ill of them on television, day and night, and from Monday to Sunday.