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AG Afoa will leave office

Attorney General Afoa L Su’esu’e Lutu has accepted the offer to take the Senate seat which was initially endorsed for High Chief Tiumalu Telesia Scanlan.


In response to Samoa News queries, Afoa confirmed that he took up the offer presented by Tiumalu during a meeting held Wednesday evening, but he was unable to answer questions behind his move to take up the offer right away. 


Afoa, who was a candidate for Governor in the last General Election was appointed by Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga as the Territory's Attorney General, and was the first political appointee announced by the new administration.


The senatorial seat in question represents the villages of Fagatogo, Fagaalu and Utulei.


Fagatogo faipule Maugaoalii Leapai Sipa Anoa’i told Samoa News that during their monthly meeting, whenTiumalu was given the opportunity to speak, she stated she wants Afoa to take up the Senate seat and Afoa accepted the offer. 


Samoa News visited Tiumalu at her residence in Fagatogo where she said that she offered Afoa the Senate seat because she’s not physically fit to take the seat, given her age. Afoa will fill the senatorial seat left vacant earlier this year in June with the passing of the late Senator Faagata Mano Faagata.


According to some people who attended the meeting, when Afoa accepted the offer to take up the Senate seat there were people mumbling in the background, yet no one in the village council objected. Mauagoali’i stated Afoa is well versed with government operations and within his village of Fagatogo is a Chief with good standing.


“Afoa brings with  him a wealth of experience and integrity, and that is what I am very proud of... and I'm honored that I will be working with him side by side in the Legislature,” said the Fagatogo faipule.


All that’s left to do now is for the Secretary of Samoan Affairs to certify Afoa’s selection. This comes after the governor is presented with the county’s “Return of Writ for Special Election” which is to be signed by the Maoputasi County Chief and county traditional leaders.  


Local law states that senators must be selected in accordance with Samoan custom by the councils of the county or counties they will be representing. The council's decision must be certified by the county chiefs of such counties.


Prior to being appointed as AG, Afoa was in private practice where he specialized in land and title matters, and is currently the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Korea in the territory.


He was also the Executive Director for the Constitutional Office.


Afoa has served as Chief Legislative Counsel and Director of the Legislative Reference Bureau (1997-2004); Special Legal Counsel to the Speaker of the House (1996-97);  Special Legal Counsel for Senate President (1989-92) and from 1992-1996 served in the House of Representatives, from District 7- Ma’oputasi (villages of Utulei, Gataivai and Fagaalu).


Earlier in his career (1985-1989) he served as the Attorney General for ASG and was also Chief Legal Counsel for the American Samoa Constitutional Convention (1986) and Instructor of Juvenile Justice at ASCC.  Afoa received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Hawai'i, and his Juris Doctor degree from Valparaiso University Law School. He first opened private law practice in the territory in 1975.