APIA, SAMOA – 17 OCTOBER 2020: Faumuinā Leatinu’u Wayne Fong of the Faleata 2 constituency is the second Independent Member of Parliament to register under the FAST political party flag this week despite the possibility of facing a legal challenge.
The MP was sacked by the Prime Minister from the HRPP in August for clarifying the 3 Bills to his village at Lefaga during the Fathers’ Day public holiday. He had also been criticising government projects such as the planned wharf at the waterfront of his village at Vaiusu.
The wharf project is pivotal to his decision to run under the FAST Flag in order to vote the HRPP government out so that the wharf will not proceed.
He said the villages of his constituency have been squeezed inland after Government took over land for its sports complex at Faleata.
“And now it is planning to take our waterfront which is mostly customary land. Are they going to relocate us further inland like what they did to the residents of Sogi village?” he asked.
“Faumuinā is dead against the wharf project that will impact on the environment and the huge mangrove swamp on the seafront of his village and there has been no proper consultation with the 11 villages that make up his constituency and the 4,000 plus voters who will be affected.”
He had also been highlighting the shift of government policy to build a new school building for Vaigaga village. Funded by the World Bank under the Climate Change Resilience Fund, the project has been delayed and now reported to be shifted to another school, as he no longer supports the ruling party.
Faumuinā follows another Independent MP, Olo Fiti Vaai who registered on Wednesday this week under the FAST Flag for the 2021 general elections.
Faumuinā explains that registering under FAST is his intention for the political party he will run under in the 2021 general elections.
“But I will serve the remainder of this term as an Independent until parliament is dissolved in January 2021.”
Parliament next meets in mid-November and given the change in the Electoral law against Independent MPs switching to political parties, the MP may well be heading for a legal challenge going into the general elections.
Faumuinā Leatinu’u Wayne Fong was one of the 71 election candidates registered and accepted by the Electoral Commissioner on the first day of registrations in Upolu, Friday 16 October 2020.
Candidates breakdown so far: HRPP – 35, FAST – 28, TAUTUA – 5 and 3 Independents. Eight (8) female candidates have registered so far.