Lolo and Lemanu take reins of ASG for next 4 years
Lolo Matalasi Moliga is the territory’s next governor after he won yesterday’s special run-off election over opponent, Lt. Gov. Faoa Aitofele Sunia.
Even before Chief Election Officer Soliai Tuipine Fuimaono officially declared the winner shortly after 8 p.m. yesterday on KVZK-TV, there was already jubilation and celebration at the campaign headquarters in Matu’u for Lolo and his running mate, candidate for lieutenant governor, Lemanu Peleti Sialega Mauga.
The Lolo and Lemanu camp as well as the gubernatorial team of Faoa and his running mate Taufete’e John Faumuina had poll watchers at the 45-polling stations territory-wide phoning in results to their headquarters as the counting process was completed.
Of the total 12,553 ballots counted in the run off election, Lolo and Lemanu received 6,645 or 52.9%, while Faoa and Taufete’e garnered 5,908 votes or 47.1%, according to the unofficial results announced last night by Soliai.
There is now a 7-day waiting period before the results are certified and made official.
LOLO AND LEMANU
The Lolo and Lemanu camp started declaring their victory when the results for Leone came in followed by the Nu’uuli results at 7:45 p.m. and supporters, families and friends of the team were already celebrating at their headquarters.
Lolo lifted his hands in the air when the Leone results came in, although team Faoa and Taufete’e won the Fofo county polling station.
Many thanks were said to the committees, supporters, friends and the former candidates who gave their endorsements to Lolo and Lemanu.
During his remarks, Lolo thanked Afoa Su’esu’e Lutu and Le’i Sonny Thompson, Salu Dr Hunkin Finau and Usoali’i Iuniasolua Savusa, Tim Jones and Tuika Tuika for their belief that together they unite for change to benefit the people of American Samoa.
“...the change we wanted is just beginning... this is our victory with the people,” he said.
Lolo said he had told committee members to fight the good fight and remain humble and not to let their pride take over. “This victory is not our victory but the people of American Samoa’s victory,” he said and noted that their campaign motto “People First” will remain throughout their term in office.
He thanked the committee members for their time, effort and money that was spent for the campaign, now that God has answered their request. “Now give us your faith and trust to govern American Samoa. Always remember that we sought victory because of our belief that change is needed to benefit everyone,” he said.
In an interview with Samoa News, Lemanu — in tears — said winning the top two posts in government is something that they and the committee have longed for given the change that is needed for the benefit of everyone, not just a few.
Lemanu said they stand by their motto, people first and the four pillars they believe must sustain the Government — Unity, Equality, Transparency and Accountability.
He commended the committees for their time, work and effort in this victory, for without the people this would not have been possible.
He also commended team Faoa and Taufete’s and their supporters for their hard work.
Committee Chairman Fiu Johnny Saelua thanked the committees and the former candidates for their commitment and belief that change is to benefit everyone.
Rev. Fouvale Asiata of the Matu’u CCCAS told the winning team to remain humble and have God lead their way.
“Expect the unexpected and when the Lord gives you the chance to lead this government stay humble and remember that this Island is not a government, but it is a brotherhood and a family,” he said.
FAOA AND TAUFETE’E
The team’s campaign committee, supporters, families and friends gathered at their usual meeting place, Fano’s Guest Fale in Fagaalu. After the results were released they had a prayer service followed by a brief opening statement from committee chairman Lauvao Steve Haleck, who stated that the sun will rise again tomorrow and none of them should be saddened with the outcome of the race.
Taufete’e spoke next and recalled that from the start of the committee’s campaign activities, it was always he and Faoa’s urging for the committee to always keep peace and harmony throughout the campaigning.
He then pointed out that children of God living in harmony is of great importance throughout the campaign activities. He said the committee should not be sad, because there is nothing to be sad about and pointed out that in every game, there is always one winner.
Now, said Taufete’e, voters have made their decision on the winner, that is Lolo and Lemanu and that is God’s will and wishes. “We must accept that decision,” he said and told supporters not to do anything else that is not God’s will.
He urged supporters to remain calm, keep peace in the community and be very humble in times of defeat. “Let’s all put this behind us and move forward,” he said.
He prays that the new leaders will stick to their call for “change” which is what the community will want because that was Lolo and Lemanu’s pledge during the campaigning activities.
In his remarks, Faoa told supporters not to be sad because the Faoa and Taufete’e team didn’t win. He said everyone — both Faoa/Taufete’e and Lolo/Lemanu — knew from the start that the post of governor and lieutenant governor belongs to the people of American Samoa and the people of the territory have decided that come January 2013, Lolo will be the new governor.
He said the post of governor and lieutenant governor “wasn’t ours from the start.”
“Tomorrow is a brand new day. And tomorrow the sun will rise again,” he said and urged supporters and committee members to put aside any other issues that surfaced during the campaigning.
Faoa said the committee and supporters will gather at a later time for a celebration, or “fiafia.” He thanked everyone for their support and he also thanked Lauvao for his leadership as committee chair.
Click on attachment to download runoff results by district
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