Laumatiamanu rises in Safata No. 2 battle
A rematch between two rivals for the Safata No. 2 seat saw the Fa'atuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party candidate, Laumatiamanu Ringo Purcell rise above his competitor in Friday's by-election.
The 53-year-old farmer and former police officer bagged 849 votes to rival Nonu Lose Niumata who collected 731 ballots during preliminary count results on Friday night.
Although Laumatiamanu leads by 118 votes, the tide could possibly turn with some 116 uncounted pre-polling votes and special votes yet to be confirmed. Those votes will be declared on Monday during the recount.
Nonu contested under the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) banner and had successfully secured the Safata No. 2 seat in the April general election.
But the election victory of the former M.P. was nullified after he reached a legal settlement with Laumatiamanu to resign from office to avoid a pre-election petition.
The seat is the fourth to be secured by the F.A.S.T. party in the by-elections with the H.R.P.P. only managing to win two constituencies to increase its total seat numbers to 20.
• This is a developing story...
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