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Savali Talavou Ale — unchallenged — retains House Speaker post

House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale with his wife, Beauty

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — With no challenger, the local House of Representatives Thursday re-elected Rep. Savali Talavou Ale as Speaker of the House for the next two years.

The election was part of the swearing-in ceremony for all faipule, presided over by Chief Justice Michael Kruse. Also present was Chief Election Officer, Dr. Lealofi Uiagalelei, who certified the names of all 21 House members — 20 of them are elected by popular vote, while the 21st is the Swains Island delegate.

After lawmakers were sworn-in, it was time to elect the House leader. Rep. Afalava Gafatasi verbally submitted Savali’s name and it was seconded by Rep. Vaetasi Tu’umolimoli S. Moliga.

No other candidate was up for consideration and the final vote count was unanimous for Savali to retain the House leadership role. The vote was by secret ballot — which is the usual rules for the House.

As of late last week, there were four individuals — one incumbent and three faipule-elect who hadn’t yet joined the 16-majority of supporters for Savali. In the end, the four opted not to submit a candidate since they weren’t even close to having enough numbers, according to information received by Samoa News.

Relatives of the four faipule told Samoa News that “these faipule will still maintain their stand, going forward” of the Fono doing its diligent work of “checks-and-balance” when it comes to issues, bills, and other matters of importance presented by the government.

Also re-elected was Vaiaitu Filo Maluia as Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives and Line Olo as House Sergeant-At-Arms — both terms are also for two years.

Savali delivered a brief traditional Samoan speech thanking his colleagues for the support.

The Speaker of the House, who hails from Fagali’i, is currently the longest serving lawmaker in the Fono. He was first elected to the House in 1981.

After graduating from Leone High School, Savali moved to California where he attended Cannon’s College of Commerce, a two-year institution, where he studied Business Administration, according to the Fono Golden Jubilee Book.

He then attended California Baptist College where he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1977. Savali also attended summer programs at Oregon State University and the University of Hawaii.