Faleomavaega sweeps Aleipata-i-Lalo seat
The former Manu Samoa rugby coach, Faleomavaega Titimaea Tafua has recorded victory in the battle for the Aleipata-i-Lalo seat to win by 1026 votes during the preliminary count.
Faleomavaega took the lead by 223 votes in the count and then went on to win, compared to his competitor and female Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) candidate Fagasealii Sapoa Feagaiai who only managed to collect 594 ballots.
There are 118 pre-polling votes that have not been included in the preliminary results but the remaining votes are not likely to make a difference on the overall result as the former rugby coach has a gap of 432 votes in his favour.
Running under the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) banner, the former rugby coach dominated most of the voting booths in the district except for one booth, votes in the preliminary count show.
Faleomavaega is the brother of former M.P. of Aleipata-i-Lalo, Tafua Maluelue Tafua who had challenged the former H.R.P.P. winner and unseated him.
The addition of the Aleipata-i-Lalo seat to the F.A.S.T. party's total raises the new party's total number of seats to 31 with the former ruling party only managing to win two seats in the by-elections. The H.R.P.P. total seat numbers now stands at 20.
Faleomavaega's by-election victory for the country's newest political party marks a change in the fortunes of the former rugby coach.
He was sacked as the Manu Samoa coach by the Samoa Rugby Union in August 2018 and sued the S.R.U. a year later seeking to be paid USD$70,000 which he alleged was outstanding for the remainder of his contract period. However, his civil claim was later dismissed by the Supreme Court.
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