Aana Alofi No. 1 candidates advertise withdrawal
Parties in an Aana Alofi No. 1 seat legal dispute have adhered to court orders they advertise their intentions to withdraw post-election legal challenges saying doing so is in their best interest and their constituency's.
On Saturday, Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) candidate, Taueva Faafouina Mupo of Faleasi’u, publicly advertised his intention to apply for leave to withdraw his petition against Fa’atuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party seat winner, Fesola’i Apulu Tuigamala.
Both are first-timers in the political realm.
The notice is dated 18 June 2021, a day after both parties sought to withdraw their petitions against each other before the Supreme Court presided over by Justice Niava Mata Tuatagaloa and Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Warren.
In a notice advertised in the Weekend Observer Saturday, 19 June 2021 edition signed by Taueva, two grounds were listed as to why his petition had been withdrawn.
According to Taueva, an agreement has been reached by both parties to settle the matter and contingent to that agreement being honoured by both parties; he agrees to abandon his petition against the petitioner.
The petitioner said that it is not in the interest of justice to pursue the Election Proceeding.
He added that peace and harmony is best maintained within their electoral constituency as well as the best interest of the said constituency if the Election Proceeding are withdrawn.
Fesolai was represented by lawyer, Tanya Toailoa while Taueva was represented by Tuatagaloa Shane Wulf and Leinafo Taimalelagi-Strickland.
The matter was called for hearing at 10 am on Friday, however, the petitioner sought an adjournment to settle the matter amongst the parties. The motion was granted and ordered so that the matter would be back in court by no later than 12.30 pm.
The matter will be called again next Wednesday, June 23 at 12.30 pm to formalise the withdrawal.
Taueva claimed 478 votes to Fesolai's 766 votes.
On Friday, following the voicing of Taueva’s intention to withdraw his case through his counsel, Fesola’I addressed his supporters outside of court.
“I thank you all for your continuous support today; heaven has answered our prayers and we give the praise to God,” he said,
“Thank you for your patience Prime Minister-elect and our F.A.S.T. family both overseas and local; thank you for your prayers.”
Fesola'i also thanked his "brother" Taueva for agreeing to withdraw the post-election challenge against him and allowing him to be the M.P. for Aana Alofi No. 1.
Aana Alofi No. 1 is made up of Faleasi’u and Sapulu.
Four candidates contested the seat. The other two were Fesola’I Aleni Sofara a woman and only candidate of the Sovereign Independent Samoa Party, Fesola’I Logo Toloa.