Tualauta and Ma’oputasi Counties select their Senators
More senators were selected by their respective counties over the weekend and among the new senators is the government’s current Treasurer, Magalei Logovi’i — now one of two senators for Tualauta county. There is also a returning senator, Mauga T. Asuega, who takes up one of the three seats for the Maoputasi county.
The county’s council of traditional leaders and orators met in Vaitogi on Saturday and information received by Samoa News has it that sitting senators Paogofie Fiaigoa and Fonoti Tafa’ifa Aufata had both shown interest in being returned to the Senate.
Fonoti of Tafuna will complete her four year term before Jan. 3, 2013. Paogofie of Pavaiai was selected by the county in early 2010 to complete the four-year term of Sen. Tuana’itau Tuia who passed away in January of that year, in accordance with local law.
Tualauta county comprises Tafuna, Faleniu, Mapusaga Fou, Mesepa, Pavaiai, Iliili and Vaitogi villages.
During the county meeting, Magalei of Faleniu pointed out that he, as one of the county’s traditional leaders, had in past years given the respect to other county leaders to take up the seat in the Senate but this time, he believes it is his turn, according to two eyewitnesses at the meeting.
The eyewitnesses also said that although there were lengthy discussions dealing with the county’s two seats — which one traditional leader suggested should be rotated among the villages — in the end, it was a peaceful selection process.
Besides Magalei, the other Tualauta senator will be Letuligasenoa Soli of Ili’ili. Magalei’s term as ASG Treasurer officially comes to an end the same time that the Togiola Administration exits the government.
The eyewitnesses said that perhaps the biggest issue the county faces when it comes to this selection process, as well as other matters, is that the Tualauta top leader, the title of Letuli — which is Paramount Chief status — is vacant.
Ma’oputasi county has three seats in the Senate and the current senators are Tiumalu Telesia Scanlan, representing the village councils and traditional leaders of Fagatogo, Utulei and Fagaalu; Asuega Fa’amamata Lauvai representing the village council and leaders of Pago Pago; and Mauga T. Asuega for the village councils and leaders of Aua, Leloaloa and Atu’u.
As reported by Samoa News back in late 2008, Mauga — who is the Ma’oputasi top traditional leader and Paramount Chief — stepped in to take up the seat and keep peace and harmony in the county after traditional leaders of Aua, Atu’u and Leloaloa were unable to reach a consensus.
And when the traditional leaders of Aua, Atu’u and Leloaloa met last Saturday at Leloaloa to select their next senator, there were three candidates for the seat. With no consensus reached, leaders of the three villages will present their decision (which is no consensus reached) when the Maoputasi county councils meet this coming Saturday.
Also this past Saturday, the Pago Pago village council and traditional leaders met at Mauga’s Guest Fale where a ranking member of the council reminded those in attendance that in accordance with traditional protocol, it is now the Mauga clan’s turn to the seat.
Therefore, Mauga will be Pago Pago’s senator, and there was no opposition. The meeting lasted for about 30-minutes. Samoa News understands that Mauga had been verbally informed that there was no consensus reached by Aua, Leloaloa and Atu’u.
To select the next senator for Fagatogo, Utulei and Fagaalu, the villages’ traditional leaders met at Tiumalu’s family property in Fagatogo, where Fa’agata Mano Fa’agata III, who is currently a senior Fono staff member, was selected.
In accordance with traditional protocol, it is now Fagatogo’s turn to the Senate, and this was reiterated by a Fagatogo traditional leader at the start of the 45-minute meeting. There were “no arguments” or objections from traditional leaders of the other two villages, according to information received by Samoa News.
Tiumalu was selected by the traditional leaders of the three villages to fill their seat left vacant last year following the death of the late senator Amituana’i Eteuati, who is from Fagaalu. Tiumalu served out the remaining term of Amituana’i, in accordance with local law.
Samoa News reporters Fili Sagapolutele and Ausage Fausia contributed to this report.