Leota Tima Leavai sweeps Falealupo votes

The lone female candidate for the electoral seat of Falealupo has conquered the election race for Falealupo, according to a preliminary count of results. 

Leota Tima Le’avai collected a total of 455 votes, with 349 to Fuiono Tenina Crichton of the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) coming in second. 

A senior lawyer in Samoa, Leota Tima Leavai may be a novice to the political arena but politics is already an established domain in the Leavai family, as her father, A'e'au Dr. Peniamina Leavai served as a Member of Parliament and represented Falealupo in the Legislative Assembly for 26 years. 

After years of opposing the government, Falealupo appear to have decided it was time to cross the Parliamentary floor. 

Leota's father, A’eau, first entered Parliament in 1985 as M.P. for Falealupo under the banner of the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.).

According to the unofficial results from Friday, Leota is the only H.R.P.P. candidate that has secured a seat at the Itu-o-Asau side. 

In an interview with the Samoa Observer before the election, Leota said her plan for her constituency is plain and simple. 

"My message to my voters is that I will do my best for the development of the constituency. 

"I can't really say which area, but I will definitely look at the development of education for the children within the constituency and women's rights. 

"I also want to solve and address this culture of intimidating and threatening our people, by a few groups of matai. 

"That is something I do not like."

Leota is Principal at Leavai Law and is a Barrister, Solicitor and Accredited Mediator. 

The Samoa Observer could not reach Leota on Friday night for comment on the preliminary count. 

Leota is one of the four female candidates leading various constituencies in Savai'i. 

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