Friday 12 May Apia Samoa. Lautimuia Afoa Uelese Vaʻai of the Faatuatua i Le Atua Samoa ua Tasi party is the confirmed Member of Parliament for Vaimauga 3 following a decision by the Supreme Court to throw out all allegations of bribery filed towards candidates of the Vaimauga 3 by-elections.
Supreme Court Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clark delivered his decision to a packed Courtroom of family, friends and members of the constituency on Friday afternoon.
The Courts dismissed the petition filed by Samau Leatigagaeono Timani against Lautimuia Uelese Vaai, and also dismissed the counter-petition filed by Lautimuia Uelese against Samau Timani.
The Court decision states that petitions should have never been filed, for they lacked substance and evidence for the Court to properly determine.
Lautimuia Afoa Uelese Vaʻai gave thanks and praise to God for the result.
The Member of Parliament for Vaimauga 3 acknowledged the Human Rights Protection Party candidate, Samau Leatigagaeono Timani and called for a peaceful working relationship for the good of the district it’s constituents.
“Ia o le upu moni e lē avea nei faamasinoga e va ai le fogavaa, ae tuli i luma so tatou ai…
“E manaomia le tatou galulue faatasi mo se manuia o le itumalo.”
The former Chief Executive of the Samoa Shipping Services also thanked members of his Constituency for the support shown during the past weeks of court proceedings.
“Right from the beginning of this matter and up til now, members of the Constituency including the elderly as well as the youth, were seen here showing their support.. faafetai tele i si o’u Itumalo..”
Triggered by the death of the incumbent member of parliament Tapunuu Niko Lee Hang of HRPP, a by-election was held in the Vaimauga 3 constituency in February 2023.
A constituency widely considered an HRPP stronghold, Lautimuia Uelese Vaʻai of the ruling FAST party won the by-election with 56% of total votes casted.
He defeated Samau Leatigagaeono Timani of HRPP, who obtained 39%, and Independent candidate Feagaimaalii Bruce Toomalatai who secured 3% of the votes.