The Faatuatua i Le Atua Samoa ua Tasi party has won the preliminary count for the Vaimauga 3 Constituency.
A look at the 13 booths shows the race was close, until it came to Magiagi, where FAST party candidate Lautimuia Uelese Vaai polled 93% of the votes for Booth 1 (Magiagi EFKS) and 91% of the votes for Booth 2 (Magiagi Metotosi).
Three candidates vied for the 53rd Parliamentary seat, vacated with the sudden passing of Hon Papaliitele Niko Lee Hang who had held the seat as an HRPP MP for 21 years.
HRPP won 5 of the booths, with supporters evident in Tanugamanono, Matautu and Vailima. However the numbers in the Constituency are stacked with Magiagi where close to 700 voters turned up.
A total of 2,737 voters turned up to the polls on this wet and windy Friday in Samoa and Magiagi represented 25% of total voters today.
The result further extends the majority of the ruling FAST party in Parliament.
Samoa’s newest MP, Lautimuia Afoa Uelese Vaai had resigned from his role as a government chief executive to run in today’s by election.
The longserving General Manager of the Samoa Shipping Services had said that if successful, one of his areas of focus would be to promote business growth for income generation in his constituency.
“To create jobs and employment opportunities through supporting businesses, as well as promote education amongst the youth.”
Prior to joining the Samoa Shipping Services and leading them as the General Manager, Lautimuia also worked with the Electric Power Corporation as the Manager of the Energy Sector Division and taught at the National University of Samoa.
As an Accounting and Financial Management major, Lautimuia also previously worked as a Financial Advisor with Infinity Samoa Consultancy.
Samoa’s Legislative Assembly comprises 53 members – 51 Constituency seats plus two seats for women to ensure 10% representation.
The ruling FAST party now holds 32 seats while the opposition HRPP party hold 18. The other three seats are held by deflected HRPP MPs who opted to become Independents. They are awaiting a Court decision if they need to return to the polls.
Changes to Samoa’s Constitution requires a two thirds majority of Parliament. Two thirds: 2/3 of 53 = 35.3
If the Law is once again interpreted in terms of rounding up and not down, 36 votes may be declared as needed to make changes to Samoa’s Constitution.