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Fagatogo council endorses Tiumalu as new senator

The Fagatogo village council, during its usual monthly meetings this past Saturday, unanimously endorsed High Chief Tiumalu Telesia Scanlan as their new senator, to fill the senatorial seat left vacant earlier this year in June with the passing of the late Senator Faagata Mano Faagata.


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


Fagatogo Village Council spokesperson High Talking Chief Taesaliali’i Siua’i Matagi told the Samoa News yesterday, Tiumalu volunteered her services and the village council didn’t object, with High Chief Mailo Ioane issuing the village’s official blessing.


Over a telephone interview with the Samoa News yesterday, Fagatogo faipule Rep. Maugaoali’i Leapai Tusipa Anoa’i confirmed Tiumalu’s selection and said he is very happy that Tiumalu will be back in the senate.


“Tiumalu brings with her a wealth of experience and integrity, and that is what I am very proud of,” Leapai said, adding that he and Tiumalu worked closely together on different projects for the betterment of Fagatogo when he was the village mayor.


Tiumalu was sworn in as one of the three senators for Ma’oputasi County last February to serve out the rest of the term for the late Senator Amituana’i Eteuati Sr. who passed away while in office.


Her term officially expired on January 3, 2013, after which Senator Faagata Mano Faagata took over.


Samoa News understands there were side talks about giving the senatorial seat to the chiefs on the lower echelon of the matai system. Maugaoali’i said tradition should be upheld as far as the selection of senators and he feels that Fagatogo’s voice in the senate should be someone that holds a High Chief title and he is very happy and content with the village council’s decision to select Tiumalu.


All that’s left to do now is for the Secretary of Samoan Affairs to certify Tiumalu’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 count_y 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 councils’ decision must be certified by the county chiefs of such counties.


Tiumalu is a long-time local business owner. She and her late husband are the owners of Herb and Sia’s Motel in Fagatogo.