Farmer takes on the powerful
A farmer from Lalomalava is setting out to achieve the impossible.
As a candidate for Friday’s General Elections, Talalafai Kapeli Vaiola, is looking to unseat a Cabinet Minister and an Associate Minister in the race for the Fa’asaleleaga No. 1 West seat.
What’s more, Talalafai is flying the Tautua Samoa Party flag, one of very few candidates running for the opposition.
Asked why he has chosen to become a Tautua Party candidate, Talalafai said his constituency has been supporting the ruling Human Rights Protection Party for many years.
“But they don’t keep their promises,” he said.
“As a candidate, I want to work to build a better future for our children.”
Talalafai is under no illusion that the odds are stacked against him. But he said he is ready to accept whatever the outcome will be.
In the meantime, he has been campaigning among his constituents about delivering on their basic needs.
“Their voice needs to be heard in Parliament,” said Talalafai. “Far too often, our representatives are quiet because of their party affiliations.
“I am more than ready for this. I have been preparing for this for five years, this is was not prepared from yesterday.”
As a farmer, Talalafai said the inland and access roads are woeful. The supply of water is also unreliable in many villages, especially families who live inland.
Education is also one of his priorities.
“Improved education will help deal with the unemployment problem,” he said. “You have a better chance of getting a job if you have an education so I feel that is a first stop.”
Talalafai said there is a need to provide opportunities for young members of the constituency to utilize their vocational skills such as carpentry, carving and artistic creation.
Talalafai is 61. He is up against the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Magele Mauiliu Magele, the Associate Minster of Women, Community and Social Development, Gatoloaifaaana Amataga Alesana-Gidlow, Va’asilifiti Moelagi Jackson and Suafoa Faimata Sua.