Iva removes political billboard belonging to F.A.S.T. candidate

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 04 February 2021, 4:00PM

Another village in Savai'i has removed a political billboard displaying a candidate contesting the seat of Fa'asaleleaga No.2. under the banner of the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) political party. 

The Samoa Observer understands that the billboard that was erected in the village of Iva, was removed last week. 

The village mayor of the village, Seve Luki, was not available for interview. 

However, his mother spoke on his behalf and confirmed that the billboard was removed by the untitled men of the village. 

"To tell you the truth, the political billboard displaying a photo of the F.A.S.T. candidate, Magele Sekati Fiaui was removed by our village last week. 

"The thing is, Magele did not seek the approval from elders of the village when they came to set up his billboards in Iva. That's why the elders ordered the untitled men of our village to remove the billboards." 

Mrs. Seve, however, indicated that the removal of the billboards does not mean they do not support Magele, or have anything against F.A.S.T. 

"It's just that they did not go through the proper channel when they came to install their billboards. 

"We understand that all four candidates running from our constituency are eligible and we wish them all the best."

There are five candidates vying for the seat of Fa'asaleleaga No.2. The candidates include the incumbent M.P. Gatoloaifaana Amataga Gidlow, Oloapu Ka Iese, Su'a Vivian Betham Letoa-Su'atele, Magele Sekati Fiaui and Talalafai Toma Amosa. 

Iva is the second village from the big island that has removed the installation of political billboards belonging to candidates flagging the banner of the F.A.S.T. political party in the upcoming election. 

Over a week ago, a billboard that was installed at Paia, was also removed "to keep the peace" within the village. 

A matai from Paia, Maua'i Ti'afau confirmed in an interview with the Samoa Observer that the candidate, Vaele Pa'iaaua Sekuini removed the billboard. 

When Va'ele was contacted for a comment, he confirmed that he sent his men out to remove one of his billboards that was installed in Paia "to keep the peace within the village."

Meanwhile in Upolu, the village of Malie has ordered all political billboards erected in the village be immediately removed, at the beginning of this week. 

The village had previously been the site of three billboards for candidates for the seat of Sagaga No. 2. 

Another billboard, the Samoa Observer understands, had featured a collage of F.A.S.T. candidates from across Upolu.

F.A.S.T.’s leader, La’auli Leuatea Schmidt, said it was no problem to remove the billboard in the name of keeping the peace. 

"We keep the peace and we respect their decision," he said.

"Whoever is not happy with our billboards, it is okay. We have advised our candidates to do it. Do not spur conflict, just do what they say. If the village says to take it down, it is fine.

"There are other villages of the constituency that are okay to have the billboards; we will take them there. But keep the peace."


By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 04 February 2021, 4:00PM
Samoa Observer

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