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The Fa’atuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi – FAST political party, has secured 55 candidates for next year’s general election.
At a press conference Monday,FAST Chairman La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polata’ivao Fosi confirmed the number which includes candidates running as Independents.
He said such candidates include the unopposed Lotofaga MP, former Deputy Prime Minister, Afioga Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa who has been unopposed for the very first time in her 35 year political career. Fiamē attended the party meeting last Saturday as a guest of honour.
From the 55 candidates secured, 9 electoral constituencies have at least 2 or 3 FAST candidates competing for strategic reasons.
La’auli said there is a reason why they have opted to allow more than one candidate to compete and some candidates may withdraw before the election.
These constituencies include Sagaga 4, A’ana Alofi 3, A’ana Alofi 4, Falealili 2, Va’a-o-Fonoti, Anoama’a 1, Fa’asaleleaga 3, Fa’asaleleaga 4, Palauli 2 and Palauli 3.
Four FAST candidates are preparing to file legal challenges against the rejection of their nominations by the Electoral Commissioner when registrations closed last Friday.
La’auli said the challengers are Fata Meafou for Sagaga 2, Papali’itele Tavita Moala for Sagaga 1, Paloa James Louis Stowers for Faleata 3 and Vui Seigafolava Sione Masinamua for Fa’asaleleaga 5.
Paloa James Louis Stowers of Vaitele and Papali’i Tavita Moala for Sagaga 1 whose village mayors did not sign their papers.
Three of the challenges relate to the village mayors refusal to sign the candidates nomination forms and one concerns the immigration requirement.
Papali’i and Paloa told Talamua that they are ready to face this hurdle.
Papali’i who successfully challenged certain sections of the Electoral Act as discriminatory on the monotaga requirement, said the mayor of Faleula village does not recognise his monotaga hence his refusal to sign his papers. As a result, the incumbent, the Minister of Education is unopposed.
Paloa from Vaitele faces the same dilemma and the sitting MP was named unopposed in the final list of candidates released last Friday.
La’auli said the only justice for this issue is the Court and FAST is supporting the legal actions on behalf of its members.
FAST has also declared their support for the other opposition parties such as Tautua Samoa and Samoa First Party.
With the Samoa National Democratic Party (SNDP) and the Tumua ma Puleono parties already in a coalition with FAST, La’auli said they lend support to the opposition candidates in the constituencies where FAST does not have candidates.
SOURCE: TALAMUA NEWS ONLINE/PACNEWS
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