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Matautia Lui Tuiafono, a military veteran, was sworn in yesterday to fill the Sua county seat left vacant following the death last month of Sen. Sua Vaiuli Matautia of Afono. Matautia will serve out the remainder of the four-year term of the late Senator Sua.  Sua county has two seats.


Matautia, 59, told Samoa News he served in the U.S. Armed Forces starting in 1973 and was stationed around the world, in places such as Israel. He retired in 1989 when he was wounded while in the military and thereafter returned home to serve his family, village and county. He was later bestowed the Matautia chiefly title.


The Senate held a special session meeting yesterday morning to receive credentials and certification of the Sua county’s decision to select Matautia. Thereafter, Senate President Gaoteote Tofau Palaie selected a three-panel special committee to review the documents.


Chaired by Sen. Nua Saoluaga and members Soliai Tuipine Fuimaono and Magalei Logovi’i, the three met for about ten minutes at a Fono office to conduct their review. They returned with a  recommendation for the Senate membership to accept this latest member, who has met all criteria to serve in the Upper Chamber.


During the Senate session, Matautia’s name was officially announced as the newest member. The newest senator is expected to sit on committees that were assigned to Sua.