Seuamuli commends former Deputy Speaker's concession
The member-elect for the constituency of Gagaemauga No.2., Seuamuli Fasi Toma has expressed his sincere gratitude towards "his brother" and election opponent, Nafo'itoa Talaimanu Keti, for accepting the result of this year's election.
The former Deputy Speaker of the House, Nafo'itoa did not file an election petition against Seuamuli's victory, something the Deacon Elder says he is grateful for.
The duo were the only candidates who contested the seat of Gagaemauga No.2. in this year's April's Election.
Seuamuli led the election race with a total of 794 votes; Nafo'itoa fell only a little short with 733 votes.
When contacted for a comment, Seuamuli praised Nafo'itoa's decision to accept the result of this year's elections.
"I take my hat off to my brother, Nafo'itoa for humbly accepting the results," Seuamuli told the Samoa Observer.
"God knows how grateful I am for that and I have the utmost respect for him.
"This shows the true spirit of sportsmanship. This tells a lot about the kind of person he is; a man of integrity and is blessed with the knowledge and deep insight of a Samoan orator.
"He is setting a good example for the younger generation of our constituency. After all, we are brothers."
Seuamuli then paid tribute to the service Nafo'itoa had carried out in the past five years.
"As I told you before the election, I have the utmost respect for Nafo'itoa. He has done extremely well in carrying out his duties not only as an M.P. but also as the deputy speaker of the house.
"And for that, I want to thank him for all his work and his service."
Lastly, Seuamuli said he is yet to meet with Nafo'itoa, but is hoping to meet him personally to thank him for "being modest and humble."
He then acknowledged Nafo'itoa for giving him the honor to be the voice of his constituency in Samoa's XVII Parliamentary term and wishes him all the best for the future.
"I am truly honored," Seuamuli said.
"Thank you brother for being modest and humble about this. We are one of the few constituencies that won't be heading to court, which is a great thing as that decision keeps the peace and unite the constituency.
"I'd definitely do the same had the results came out with him as the winner. I would have not considered a petition against him.
"That's the way to do it; we might be rivals in the political arena, but off the field, we are truly brothers.
"So I want to thank Nafo'itoa for the great honor. Five years will go pass so fast and maybe he will get another shot after this term to represent our people again.
"I wish him all the best with his endeavors."
Nafo'itoa could not be reached for a comment.
Prior to the elections, Nafo'itoa who was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2016, appealed to Seuamuli, as the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) candidate, to reconsider his decision to compete against him.
Nafo'itoa gave a passionate speech in Parliament in January 2021, during the debate on the Supplementary Budget 2020-2021 and singled out his only opponent: Seuamuli.
Nafoitoa then urged his challenger not to disrupt the spirit of harmony and peace within their village.
This drew an angry response from M.P. La'auli Leuatea Schmidt, the founder of the F.A.S.T. party, who stood up to remind the former Deputy Speaker of Standing Orders relating to speaking about those unable to respond.
Nafo'itoa was a member of the Human Rights Protection Party.
He is a former Police Officer and Assistant Police Commissioner.
As former Deputy Speaker of the House, Nafo'itoa removed opposition and outspoken M.P. for Salega No.2., Olo Fiti Va'ai from the Finance and Expenditure Committee for critiquing the government's spending decisions.