Two Associate Ministers bow out from parliament
Two Associate Ministers have bowed out of Parliament as the Legislative Assembly meets for the last time before it dissolves for the 2021 General Election.
Associate Minister for Finance and Member of Parliament for Aiga i le Tai, Mulipola Leiataua Laki Mulipola and Associate Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Fa’asootauloa Pati Taulapapa have announced they will not contest for their seats in the upcoming General Election.
In addressing the House during the Supplementary Budget 2020/2021 debate, Mulipola announced that he has thrown his support behind another candidate. He said he is aware of where the constituency’s support lies and will leave it to the constituents to decide when they cast their votes.
In noting several developments that were made possible during his tenure, Mulipola thanked Aiga i le Tai for trusting him to represent them for the past five years and apologised for any shortcomings while carrying out his duties.
Mulipola had his nomination application rejected by the Electoral Commissioner in October last year.
He was disqualified due to his involvement in a traffic offence in 2015, denying him the opportunity to contest due to electoral eligibility laws.
An electoral petition he filed to challenge the decision of the Commissioner was later withdrawn.
On the other hand, the incumbent M.P. for Gagaemauga No2, Fa’aso’otauloa earlier this week told parliament that this would be his last term and he was retiring from office.
A member of the Human Rights Protection Party, he thanked his constituency for affording him the honour of representing them and thanked the Government for developments that have benefited the country over the years.
He also wished his colleagues and Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) Party well for the post-election period, saying that all appointments are from God.
Fa’asootauloa first entered parliament in 1990, then 2006 and recently in 2016.
During his last term in parliament, the M.P. for Gagaemauga No2 made an impassioned plea for Government to retain the seat for Saleaula.
This was a result of new electoral boundaries that led to the territorial constituency being divided and the seat being dissolved in the upcoming election.
At the time, the senior M.P. reminded government of Samoa’s boundaries that have long been demarcated based on traditions and honorifics.
In response, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi explained the new division was to equally accommodate the number of people residing within the constituencies.
He said electoral constituencies will not override traditional boundaries as implied by others.