Inaugural venue changed to Pavilion at Fagatogo Malae
The venue for the “People’s Inauguration” has been changed to the Pavilion at the Fagatogo Malae which is scheduled for this coming Thursday, January 3, 2013 says incoming Chief of Staff Fiu Johnny Saelua.
Initially the inauguration was set to be held at the Veterans Stadium, however the change was made for the convenience of Chief Justice Michael Kruse, who will be swearing in Governor Elect Lolo Matalasi Moliga and Lt Governor Elect Lemanu Peleti Mauga, says Fiu.
Fiu said the local law has it that elected Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall serve terms of four years each commencing on 12 noon on 3 January next, after their election, which will end at 12 noon on 3 January, four years later.
He explained that the day of the inauguration will be the same day the Legislature will convene, where the new Senators and Representatives will also be sworn in, and this will allow the Chief Justice to conveniently do both swearing in ceremonies.
Fiu added that another reason for the change of venue is because of the games for Samoa Bowl held at the Stadium yesterday, and it was uncertain if the inauguration committee would have enough time to decorate the stadium for the special event.
The incoming Chief of Staff, who is also the Chairman of the Inauguration Committee, has confirmed that close to $20,000 has been donated from the business community and members of the public. “Unfortunately, this is not enough to meet the finances, and we were hoping that other businesses would contribute” he said.
Fiu noted that — as Governor Elect Lolo mentioned earlier — they want an inexpensive inauguration given that there is no funding for Fiscal Year 2013 for the event.
In the meantime Fiu said that off island dignitaries confirmed to attend will be Samoa's Head of State his highness, Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi and Masiofo Filifilia, but it’s unclear if Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi will be present.
Also confirmed to attend is David Huebner, the U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa, while Lydia Nomura-Faleafine, the Field Representative for the local office of Insular Affairs under the Department of Interior will be representing the DOI.
He said it has been confirmed from USDOI main office that Assistant Secretary of Interior for Insular Affairs Anthony Babauta will not be attending the event.
Congressman Eni Faleomavaega is also unable to attend the inauguration and therefore, Congressional Staffer Iuli Alexander Godinet will be the official guest for the Congressman’s office.