Baha’i Faith elect its National Governing Council
Members of the Baha’i Faith from American Samoa and Samoa elect its National Governing Council known as the National Spiritual Assembly of Samoa, during the Faith’s 43rd National Convention held last weekend at its headquarter in Tiapapata, Samoa.
More than 50 local members of the Baha’i Faith travelled to Apia for the occasion, which include consultations on the development and progress of the Faith in all the Samoan islands, as well as the election of the nine member governing body which oversee the affairs of the Faith in both Western and American Samoa.
There are no nomination or campaigning in the Baha’i elections, but delegates to the annual convention are free to vote by secret ballot for any nine members of their choice from all the adult Baha’is in Samoa and American Samoa. The nine members who received the highest votes got elected to serve in the national governing council for one year until the next convention. The council then elect its chairperson and other officers.
Mr. Afoa Fepulea’i Titi Nofoagatoto’a of Ili’ili was the only member from American Samoa who got elected into the National Spiritual Assembly this year, and he will also serve as its Chairman. This will be Mr. Nofoagatoto’a’s 14th consecutive years to serve on the Faith’s national governing council. Other members elected were Karen Te’o, Bill Gordon, Masina Pomale, Peseta Demetrius Fogaseuga Taofiga, Lemalu Si’omia Auvele, Ruta Sinclair, Tofilau Taefu Tepa Suaesi and Alesi Taofiga.
The special guest to this year’s convention was Counsellor Dinesh Kumar-Mils from Australia, who gave the opening address. A message from the International Governing Body of the Baha’i Faith in Haifa, Israel known as the Universal House of Justice was read during the opening day of the convention. The message stressed the need for the Baha’is to live by its teachings so that they can become role models to the community.
On Sunday morning, the delegates offered prayers at the resting place of the late Malietoa Tanumafili II in Mulinu’u. His Highness was the first ruler who embraced Baha’u’llah’s teachings. Malietoa was well respected and dearly loved by the more than seven millions Baha’is around the world.
The nine members elected this year will represent the Baha’is of Samoa and American Samoa at the 11th International Baha’i Convention in April 2013, that will take place at the Baha’i World Center on Mt Carmel in Haifa, Israel.