F.A.S.T. candidate disqualified
A Faatuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party candidate, Sianifoa Vaimoana Sooaemalelagi, has been disqualified from contesting the election for failing to fulfill his monotaga (service) requirements.
The decision was handed down on Friday by Supreme Court Justice Tologata Tafaoimalo Tuala-Warren, who was accompanied on the bench for this matter by Acting Chief Justice her Honour Niava Mata Keli Tuatagaloa.
The election petition was filed by Leiataualesa Faaui II Niuapu against Sianifoa and the Electoral Commissioner.
In court Justice Tologata ruled that Sinaifoa was not qualified to be a candidate for the seat of A’ana o Alofi No. 3.
“[Leiataualesa] is seeking an order from the court to disqualify the second respondent Sinaifoa whose nomination was accepted by the Electoral Commissioner on the basis that all the requirements of section 47 [of the Electoral Act] were met,” said Justice Tologata.
The court ruled that Sinaifoa did not, in fact, not satisfy the Act’s requirements, specifically that monotaga be rendered for the three before the date of the nomination period.
“And therefore he is not qualified to run as a Candidate in the general election in 2021,” Justice Tologata said.
Costs of $1500 were awarded against Sinaifoa. No costs were ordered against the Electoral Commissioner as they were entitled to accept Sinaifoa’s nomination.
Leiataualesa is contesting the seat under the banner of the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.).
In July, former Speaker Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Lei'ataua registered to contest the A’ana Alofi No. 3 seat currently occupied by Tautua Samoa Party candidate, IlI Setefano Ta’ateo.
But the former Minister of Women, Community and Social Development, registered to contest the seat but later withdrew his candidacy to allow another matai from their village to run in the election.
The former Speaker said despite his eagerness to run again and being a former M.P., he has decided to sit out the upcoming election.