Levaopolo to run as an independent candidate in the 2016 general election

Member of Parliament for Gagaemauga No.2, Levaopolo Talatonu Vaai will be running as Olo Fiti Vaai from Itu Salega district in next year’s general elections.

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA: TUESDAY 20 OCTOBER 2015: Tautua Samoa Party Member of Parliament Levaopolo Talatonu Vaai will be running as an independent candidate in the 2016 general elections.

He confirmed with Talamua Media today his intentions for next year’s election. Levaopolo has not only changed parties but has also changed the constituency he will be competing.

He has represented the Gagaemauga No. 2 constituency for the last two terms, but has opted to run for one of the Itu Salega’s parliamentary seat under the title Olo Fiti.

Currently the 2 Itu Salega parliamentary seats are held by the Tautua Samoa party MPs Tapuai Toese and Afualo Dr. Salele Wood, but since the division of the constituency, Levaopolo will go up against Tapuai.

“It’s out of respect for Tapuai that I decided to run as an independent candidate,” said Levaopolo.

Asked if he remains loyal to Tautua, he said when you’re an independent, you remain independent.

His decision to change constituencies was based on differences with members of his constituency who rejected a Chinese company’s offer to build a resort at one of the constituency’s sub-villages.

In a previous interview with Levaopolo, he hinted that a coalition government was better than a government governed by one party with one opinion. Whether Levaopolo will cross the floor or opt for a coalition, remains to be seen.

Levaopolo was Tautua Samoa’s shadow Minister for Works, Transport and Infrastructure (MWTI).