Translated from FaaSamoa. Matai representing the district of Faleata 4 expressly stated their view that there would be no by-election for the electoral constituency in the upcoming by-election, because their full support was behind Ale Vena Ale, running under the Faatuatua i Le Atua Samoa ua Tasi banner.
The announcement was made by high chief Faletaogo, during a traditional oratory exchange last week, when the former Human Rights Protection Party MP was being formally presented to the ruling FAST party, and confirmed as the only FAST candidate for the upcoming by-election.
“It would be a waste of time for anyone to put their hand up to run in this election,” said Faletaogo. “So there will be no election.” (E leai se palota e faia).
Three by-elections have been triggered by the application of 2021 Electoral Act amendments, which prohibits an MP from leaving their political party to become Independents. The Act requires an MP who decides to leave their political party, to return to by-elections.
Three former HRPP MPs had left the opposition party last year, with the intention of becoming Independents. They had sought clarificaiton of the Courts, arguing that MPs ought to be able to leave a party and become Independents. However, after seeking clarification from the Courts, it was agreed that they would all return to by-elections.
Ale Vena Ale of Faleata 4, Tuuu Anasii Leota of Siumu and Muauu Siaosi of Vaa-o-Fonoti were all presented by their respective electoral constituencies to the FAST party last weekend, declaring their allegiance to the new administration. In return, FAST declared they would be the only candidates endorsed for the by-elections.
Samoa’s Parliament currently comprises 53 seats – 32 FAST, 18 HRPP and the three seats currently vacated awaiting the by-elections.