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Save-Sandra “People should be free to vote conscience”

fili@samoanews.com

The gubernatorial team of Save Liuato Tuitele and Sandra King Young have chosen not to endorse any of the two teams in the Nov. 20th special election, and the team will uphold the principle that people should be free to vote their conscience as individual voters.

The final decision by the team and their supporters, family and committee was made sometime Monday, the same day the other three gubernatorial teams—Afoa and Le’i; Salu and Savusa; and Tim and Tuika — joined in supporting the team of Lolo Matalasi Moliga and Sen. Lemanu Peleti Sialega Mauga, who will face the team of Lt. Gov. Faoa Aitofele Sunia and Taufete’e John Faumuina in the run off election.

A media statement released by Team Save and Sandra, late Monday evening, said that after meeting with their committee, youth and supporters over the days since the Nov. 6 general election, “Save and Sandra have chosen to uphold the principles that they campaigned on, by continuing on with their campaign message that people should be free to vote their conscience and own their vote as individuals.”

This is also in keeping with the wishes of their committee and supporters, many of whom now remain undecided on whom to vote for in the runoff election, according to the media statement.

“We have had 12 months to study and learn about all the candidates and at this point, people have enough information to make their decision,” Save pointed out. “We will continue to support the right and free will of our supporters and committee to now make their choice between the remaining two candidates, as shall we.”

Save and Sandra noted that approximately 66% of the voters who cast ballots in the general election voted for candidates that represent change. Save and Sandra see this as a movement of the people demanding honesty, transparency, and accountability from its leaders from hereon in. 

“We can only hope the candidates that emerge the winner in this run-off will heed the peoples’ demands for honesty, transparency and accountability in government and will also make the necessary reforms the people have raised through our platforms and those of other teams that were not successful,” said Save.

“If the cries of the people are not heeded for such reforms, the new administration may confront stronger and more experienced challenges in the 2016 election.”

The statement went on to say that the committee also realizes that during this campaign, which had many candidates in the election, relationships of families and friends have been either strained or unraveled.

The Save and Sandra committee had the difficult situation of running their campaign without the support of the brother of Save’s wife, Sarah Haleck Tuitele. 

Sarah’s brother is Lauvao Steve Haleck, the campaign chairman for the Faoa and Taufete’e campaign.

Now that the Save and Sandra team are not in the runoff, Sarah’s family is going through a healing process, the statement notes. The committee has decided they will not place Save in a position to endorse any other candidate that could further strain his wife’s relationship with her brother and their family as a whole.

Nevertheless, Save and Sandra remain supportive of the need for government reform and accountability in the next administration. They wish both teams all the best in the runoff, the statement said.

“God bless the people of American Samoa,” said Team Save and Sandra.



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