Translated from FaaSamoa. Mau’u Siaosi Puepuemai known in Samoa as the owner of Georgie Pizza, has called for peace between candidates in the lead up to the by-elections set for 15th September 2023.
Directing his plead towards HRPP candidate Leausa Dr Take Naseri, the FAST party candidate says elections come and go, but relationships and living harmoniously within the district, must remain.
“Aua nei avea le palota e fefulituaa’i ai ma leaga ai le tatou va. O le palota e fai fai uma, ae o le tatou va nonofo ma le tatou mafutaga, e tumau pea..”
Mauu says he and Leausa are very close having grown up together at Fagaloa, and they are also related through extended family ties.
“My respectful plea to my brother, is that we don’t let politics affect our ongoing relationship..”
“Elections come and go, but our relationships are forever..”
The former MP for Vaa-o-Fonoti said many familial relationships have been damaged since the April 2021 general elections, and he hopes that will not happen to Leausa and him.
“I pray that does not happen to us, and especially hope it does not affect our district..”
“O le tatalo, aua nei iai se tulaga faapea e tulai mai i lo ma’ua va, aemaise o se aafiaga i totonu o le itumalo.”
Mauʻu was raised in Fagaloa before moving to American Samoa. After returning to Samoa in the 1990s he opened a pizza shop, car rental business, and kava farm.
He was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Samoa in the April 2021 general election, defeating four other candidates to win the seat of Vaʻa-o-Fonoti.
The astute businessman says the biggest challenge for his constituency is also what makes it unique.
“We have the vast ocean that lies before us, and steep mountainous rock and terrain that lies behind us..”
He has therefore prioritised two infrastructural needs for his constituency that he will continue to fight for. Improvements to windy roads that cut through mountains, and the building of sea walls to protect homes from the surges of the ocean infront of them.
Mauu resigned from the HRPP in November 2022 with two other MPs, citing a request to do so by his constituents. Following a court challenge, their seats were declared vacant, resulting in the upcoming by-elections.
The by-elections have been set for Friday 15 September with pre-polling on Wednesday 13th.
Muauu faces a three candidate race for the Vaa-o-Fonoti seat against HRPP’s Leausa Dr Take Naseri and Feutaga’imealelei Osovale Brown of the newly formed Constitution Democracy Republican Party.