Masinalupe secures Lefaga and Faleaseela constituency
Masinalupe Makesi Masinalupe has secured the seat for Lefaga and Faleaseela after a gentleman’s agreement between the candidates led to the withdrawal of election petitions on Wednesday.
Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) candidate, Sua Tanielu Sua had informed the Court of his intention to withdraw his legal challenge against the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) winner.
Lawyer Leiataualesa Jerry Brunt told the Court that he has filed a notice of motion for leave to withdraw the petition and the same as the respondent in the case.
Alex Sua acting for Masinalupe confirmed his client’s wish to drop the counter suit against his H.R.P.P. rival.
Chief Justice, His Honour Satiu Simativa Perese told the counsels that they must advertise their intention to withdraw the electoral challenges as a requirement.
He adjourned the matter until Thursday next week to allow the parties to carry out the requirement.
Justice Niava Mata Tuatagaloa presided alongside the Chief Justice in the case.
In an interview with the media, the businessman and newcomer Masinalupe said his priority for his constituency is a district hospital to service its electorates.
He noted the $1 million tala being announced by the F.A.S.T. party as part of its campaign leading up to the election and increasing the pension is a priority for the political party.
Masinalupe, who resides in Safaatoa, Lefaga, acknowledged the support of church leaders for their prayers, his family, the constituency, and the F.A.S.T. political party.
He also thanked his opponent Sua for a change of heart to withdraw the electoral petition saying that the sun will rise again and there will be a time for his rival to come in office.
Masinalupe won 910 votes while Sua collected 713 ballots on polling day. The Lefaga and Faleaseela seat was previously held by former H.R.P.P. M.P., the late Vaafusuaga Ken Poutoa who passed away earlier this year before the general election.
The latest outcome gives the F.A.S.T. party the lead demanding 26 seats while the H.R.P.P. has reduced its representatives to 24 since the post-election challenges.
From the 28 petitions filed following Aprils’ General Election, four have been withdrawn and four other petitions are being heard before the Court.
That leaves 20 pending cases that will tentatively take up to two months for the Court to deal with.