Principal takes out former Parliamentary Committee Chair
The Alataua Sisifo seat was successfully wrestled away from former Parliamentary Finance and Expenditure Committee Chair, Aliimalemanu Alofa Tuuau by a veteran Principal from Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.)
63-year-old Seuula Ioane got ahead of the female Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) candidate by more than 200 votes in total, cast across four polling booths.
Seuula claimed 95.6 per cent of ballots cast at Tufutafoe E.F.K.S., 48.7 per cent at Neiafu-uta Methodist Church, 25.8 per cent at Neiafu-tai Methodist Church and 90.9 per cent of ballots at the Falelima Methodist Church.
He was also leading the pre-polling chart by the end of the last day with 78 to 44.
Aliimalemanu entered politics in 2016 after working as chief accountant for the Samoa Public Trust Office for thirteen years; as a finance manager for the University of the South Pacific in Fiji for thirteen years; and then as finance manager for the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.) in Samoa, where she had worked for fourteen years.
From the outset, Seuula, a father of six children, believed he was the best candidate for the seat because he lives and breathes life in his village.
"I understand what exactly are the challenges in our district as well as their needs, and I am ready to serve as they bestow their trust in me," he said in an interview with the Samoa Observer, at F.A.S.T headquarters after announcing his candidacy.
"I believe that after each Parliament sitting, I will go back home and host a meeting to ensure the villagers understand what was discussed in Parliament."
The chance to make education more accessible for the children of Alataua Sisifo drove Seuula's candidacy.
"First and foremost is the education side of things; if you can remember, two buses had crashed in the area with our school children travelling to college in it in the past years; this is what happens when schools are too far," he said.
"College is so far from where our children live, and we have requested and urged the current Government over the years for a college to be situated closer to Alataua Sisifo."
The constituency is made up of Falelima, Tufutafoe and Neiafu. Seuula is from Tufutafoe.
Another policy focus for the candidate is agriculture.
"Our constituency is great with ava, but the problem is, there is not a great market available for the growers and this is something I'd like to shed a light upon. I will not do it myself, but I will be voicing all this to the Government to ensure their voices are heard and hope for assistance to follow," he said.