Elected MP Agrees to Resign and Return to Polls, Heated Exchange of Words with Village Matai Outside Court

Tagaloatele Poloa and Tuisa Tasi Patea. Photos: candidate campaign images.

29 June 2021 Mulinuu Samoa. The winning HRPP candidate for the Upolu seat of Sagaga 4, Tuisa Tasi Patea, says he intends to resign from his seat in order to allow a rematch as requested by his petitioner, Tagaloatele Poloa of Faatuatua i Le Atua Samoa ua Tasi.

The matter was to be called before the Supreme Court this morning but instead counsels from both sides went into a two hour meeting with Judges in Chambers. Representing FAST candidate Tagaloatele was Alex Sua, while Arthur Lesa and Lucy Sio-Ofoia represented the respondent, Tuisa Patea.

It is understood Tagaloatale would only agree to withdraw his election petition against the HRPP winning candidate, if Tuisa would resign and allow a return to the polls for a by-election.

Tuisa had polled 272 votes more than his petitioner, with 851 votes to Tagaloatele’s 579. The district is made up of the villages of Levi, Lotosoa, Nonoa, Fatitu, Utualii and Tufulele.

Leaving Court, Tuisa told Samoa Global News both sides have agreed to withdraw petitions and counter-petitions, and return Sagaga 4 district to the polls for a by-election.

“O lea ua malilie uma itu e lua e aumai i tua ia tagi, ae o le a lafo le tofi i le Itumalo e toe fai le faigapalota.”

Outside Court there was tension in the exchange of words between a high chief of Levi Saleimoa, Luātua Semi Epati and Tuisa.

Luātua told the members of the constituency present that such negotiations between candidates should be done at Saleimoa.

“We cannot discuss issues of our village here we must return to the land and our district where our words are covered and protected… whatever happens here is burried here and forgiven..” said the chiefly orator.

“E lē faia iinei ni upu o le tatou nuu tatou fai i fanua e toe fai ai nisi tala,” Luatua said.

“O ina foi e malu ai upu o le tatou nuu, o a ni mea na tutupu i inei ia tanu i inei ma maua le fefaamagaloai”.

Tuisa, looking and sounding angry jumped in and said,  Malu i le a? O a mea o malu? Kakou õ kakou”.

High chiefs from Saleimoa calmed the tension between Tuisa and Luatua and advised that they should go back to the village to negotiate.

Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese has adjourned the matter to 7 July for the withdrawal to be advertised as required by Law.

Marieta H Ilalio