Withdrawn candidates mostly from Upolu
Most of the candidates who withdrew their nominations for the second election were contesting on Upolu, with four runners in one constituency pulling out from the race.
The list of candidates who opted out of the 21 May election was released by the Office of the Electoral Commission on Friday last week, the deadline to withdraw nominations.
Out of the 42 withdrawn candidates, some 24 are from Upolu.
In the constituency of Falealili No.1 four candidates pulled out; three Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) and one from Tautua Samoa party.
Their withdrawal left the 9 April elected Member of Parliament for the constituency, Toelupe Poumulinuku Onesemo and former M.P., Aumua Isaia Lameko to compete for the seat.
Toelupe is registered to the Faatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi party and won by a significant margin in April’s General Election, taking 1161 votes while Aumua only managed to collect 461 votes.
The total number of votes cast for the four H.R.P.P. candidates and sole Tautua Samoa candidate came to 930, still falling short of the total votes collected by the F.A.S.T. candidate who swept through the former H.R.P.P. stronghold.
The Aiga i le Tai constituency has also followed suit with three H.R.P.P. candidates sitting out the next election contest, leaving the winner and runner up on the list.
The 9 April winner who ran under the F.A.S.T. banner, Auapaau Mulipola Alotafua took the seat with 1343 votes, with runner up and former M.P. Ifopo Filisi Jahnke collecting 727 votes.
Now that there is only one candidate running under the H.R.P.P. banner, and if all of the withdrawn candidates' votes go to Ifopo, then the results could be overturned in favour of the H.R.P.P. for the 21 May election.
Interestingly, former M.P. of Falelatai ma Samatau, Taefu Lemi Taefu has also decided to withdraw from the race.
This leaves April 9 victor Lupematasila Tologata Tile as the only H.R.P.P. candidate in the race, to go head to head with second-placed Pau Roy Ausage from F.A.S.T.
Another former M.P. for Siumu in the recently dissolved XVI parliamentary term, Faalogo Isefo Sopi also withdrew his name together with Mano Ioelu.
The H.R.P.P. candidates for Fa’asaleleaga No.2, Oloapu Ka Iese and Talalafai Toma Amosa have also pulled out from the race with the hope that former M.P. Gatoloaifaana Amataga Gidlow can defend her seat.
Gatoloaifaana failed to retain her seat in April’s election after newcomer Magele Sekati Fiaui beat her at the polls, becoming the constituency's chosen representative at the 9 April elections.
Su’a Vivian Betham Leota-Suatele from Tautua Samoa is the third candidate from the constituency.
In Gagaifomauga No.2 the H.R.P.P. dropped three candidates in order for their second place winner and former Associate Minister Sooalo Feo Mene (H.R.P.P.) to have a chance at taking back his seat.
F.A.S.T. candidate for the constituency, Vaele Paiaaua Sekuini took first place in an upset for the H.R.P.P. dominant contest in the constituency.
Similarly, two H.R.P.P. runners in Salega No.2 have also pulled their names for May’s election, leaving their sole colleague Tapuai Faalogo Tupai to fight off elected M.P. Olo Fiti Vaai.
Palauli No.1 and Palauli No.3 have also withdrawn five candidates in total all from the H.R.P.P. party leaving their sole colleague to contest the seat.