F.A.S.T. overcomes another petition challenge
The Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party has confirmed another seat with a favourable outcome with the Supreme Court officially dismissing the electoral challenge for the Aana Alofi No.1 seat.
Justice Niava Mata Tuatagaloa and Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren granted leave of the Court to officially withdraw the electoral petitions and have it dismissed.
This follows the decision by the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) candidate Taueva Faafouina Mupo and F.A.S.T. party's winner, Fesolai Apulu Tuigamala to settle the dispute outside of court.
According to a notice advertised by Taueva, the former Fire Emergency and Services Authority (F.E.S.A.) Commissioner, the decision follows an agreement by both the parties.
Taueva claimed 478 votes to Fesolai's 766 votes at the 9 April election.
The petitioner said that it is not in the interest of justice to pursue the election proceeding.
He added that peace and harmony is best maintained within their electoral constituency as well as the best interests of the said constituency if the electoral proceedings are withdrawn.
Fesolai was represented by lawyer, Tanya Toailoa while Taueva was represented by Tuatagaloa Shane Wulf.
Aana Alofi No. 1 is made up of Faleasi’u and Sapulu.
Four candidates contested the seat. The other two were Fesola’i Aleni Sofara and the sole woman candidate of the Sovereign Independent Samoa Party, Fesola’i Logo Toloa.
From the 28 petitions filed following April’s General Election, 14 of them were against F.A.S.T. winners and 14 against the H.R.P.P's first placed members.
F.A.S.T. has so far managed to settle three electoral challenges and successfully won one petition from the total of 14 electoral petitions against its members.
For the H.R.P.P. the first electoral challenge against their winning member from Sagaga No.2, Seiuli Ueligitone Seiuli succeeded, resulting in the M.P. getting unseated.
Seiuli had his election made void after Independent and former H.R.P.P. member, Maualaivao Patelesio Ah Him proved bribery and treating charges against his opponent.
Maualaivao was also found guilty of similar charges and has been disqualified from running in the by-election and sitting 15 years from contesting.
H.R.P.P. currently has 13 petitions including three filed by their own colleagues pending in the Supreme Court for determination.