SAVAII – 28 AUGUST 2020: The Chairperson of Samoa’s newest political party, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao has topped the Gagaifomauga No.3. by elections preliminary results, polling 691 votes to his rivals Fa’aulusau Simi Laulua’s 205.
La’auli formed and registered the Faatuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi – FAST last month and forced the by-election after he offered his verbal resignation in parliament.
Close to two hundred supporters, the chiefs and orators of La’auli’s village gathered to offer prayers of thanks and congratulations after the results were announced after 4pm today.
La’auli acknowledged the support not only from the voters but supporters from around the country and abroad and that he is looking forward to returning o Parliament in the October session.
La’auli said he had gone through what no one had gone through in his political career. He said his reputation had suffered when he resigned as a Cabinet minister a he faced criminal charges, then was sacked from the ruling Human Rights Protection Party and finally left Parliament to establish a new political party that he carried its banner in todays by-election.
“But now I’m back,” he smiled.
Independent MPs Olo Fiti Vaai and Leatinuu Wayne Fong and several candidates in the 2021 general elections were at hand to congratulate La’auli in today’s victory.
La’auli topped three of the four polling booths. Fagaee 227 to 8; Sasina 278 to 11; Letui 157 to 24 while Faaulusau topped his village of Aopo 162 to 29.
The official results will be announced after tomorrow final count and the Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio is inviting the public to witness if they want to.
In today’s polls, five hundred and eighteen (518) registered voters did not cast their votes in
Only 64.15% of the 1445 voters cast their votes by the close of the polls at 3.00 this afternoon.
The by-election put to test the new electronic system and posted live updates of those who have voted as voting progresses and the results were announced less than an hour later.
Despite the power failure and slow internet connections, the results and media coverage were not hampered by these challenges.