Former M.W.T.I. chief takes Falealili No.1

Former Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure (M.W.T.I.) and businessman, Toelupe Poumulinuku Onesemo is back in the limelight after putting on a stunning lead in the contest for the Falealili No.1 seat.

He is amongst the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party's 25 success stories from the 2021 General Elections.

Toelupe contested the seat against five others; one from Tautua Samoa Party, Pinofoaga Poaneki Epati and four Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) candidates, former Members of Parliament, Aumua Isaia Lameko and Tupuola Misi Tupuola, former Assistant Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F.), Lupeomanu Pelenato Fonoti and Te'o Le U'uvalu Mauga.

Total valid votes cast in favour of Toelupe stood at 960, with Aumua following behind with 367, Tupuola with 142, Te'o with 123, Lupeomanu with 69 and Pinofoaga with 57. Even a combination of all the votes from Toelupe's competitors, they still fall short by more than 200 votes. 

The four candidates cannot file a petition after the official results are declared as none of them polled at least 50 per cent of the total number of votes in favour of Toelupe. 

(Petitions are presented within ten working days after the day the Electoral Commissioner publicises the poll results.)

Toelupe – who is a civil engineer by profession and a certified teacher – was appointed into the C.E.O. position at the Ministry of Works in 2015. At the time, he was the A.C.E.O. for the Planning and Urban Management Agency [P.U.M.A.] under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. 

He holds a Masters degree in engineering science [civil engineering] and a Bachelor of engineering from the University of New South Wales, Australia. He also holds a Bachelor of science [mathematics with statistics and physics] from the University of the South Pacific as well as a secondary trained teacher's certificate and a diploma in education. 

Toelupe has worked both locally and overseas since 2002 and has been an executive on Government boards including the Land Transport Authority board of directors, and worked as a teacher in Samoa from 1994-1999.

Toelupe hails from the villages of Tufuiopa, Fasitoouta and Vavau Lotofaga. Prior to moving to Samoa, he was a lay preacher for the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa in Sydney.

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