With no word on new AG, Afoa steps down
Who will be the next Attorney General? That is the question that everyone is asking and Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga is expected to announce his choice today, says the Governor’s Executive Assistant, Iulogologo Joseph Pereira.
The last cabinet meeting of 2013 for the Lolo and Lemanu administration was dedicated to outgoing Attorney General Afoa L Su’esu’e Lutu, whose last day at work is today. In January, he will take up the senatorial seat representing the villages of Fagatogo, Fagaalu and Utulei.
Afoa, who was a candidate for Governor in the last General Election was appointed by Governor Lolo as the Territory's Attorney General, and was the first political appointee announced by the new administration.
During the cabinet meeting Governor Lolo commended Afoa for his commitment to the cause and stated that although he will be missed in this administration, opportunities such as this one do not come often.
Lolo described Afoa as a warrior who was determined, and was not scared to make decisions. He thanked him for holding the fort for the administration when they stepped in.
Afoa was presented with a plaque and a tanoa (kava bowl). The outgoing AG thanked the governor and Lt. governor for their commitment to the people, adding he has served in three administrations, twice with the late Lutali’s administration and then under Lolo’s administration.
“Today is not a sad day, rather it is a happy day which coincides with the festive season as we approach the new year,” Afoa said, also thanking Maoputasi County for the opportunity offered to him to take on the senatorial seat.
He thanked Lolo and Lemanu for choosing him and fighting back his tears, Afoa apologized, saying it may appear that he’s running away as if something has happened however this was not the case. “This is the county’s decision and who am I to deny the decision by the county?”
Afoa told Lolo that he may be moving to the Legislative branch, however he will always return if the governor and the administration call on him for anything. “I’m only a phone call away,” he said.
Chief Election Officer Tuaolo Manaia Fruean who spoke on behalf of the administration and Governor Lolo asked Afoa to use his ability as an attorney to soothe any issue coming from the Fono towards the administration.
In September, 2013, Afoa accepted the offer to take the Senate seat which was initially endorsed for High Chief Tiumalu Telesia Scanlan. Tiumalu later told Samoa News that she offered Afoa the Senate seat because she was not physically fit to take the seat, given her age.
Afoa fills the seat left vacant earlier this year in June with the passing of the late Senator Faagata Mano Faagata.
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, according to local law.
Afoa is also currently the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Korea in the territory.
OTHER ISSUES DISCUSSED AT CABINET MEETING
During the last cabinet meeting of the year, Governor Lolo commended the Director of DYWA Pa’u Roy Ausage and Director of Arts Council Uta Dr. Laloulu Tagoilelago for a job well done for putting together the Christmas Program.
He also noted that next time the Samoa Bowl Committee have a project such as the one they just did, the cabinet should also be involved. He admonished them that the Administration can’t involve themselves unless they are made aware of the project or event. Lolo then thanked Lealao Melila Purcell for his commitment to Samoa Bowl and thanked others who were involved.
Lolo then urged the Samoa Talks Committee, led by Tuaolo Manaia Fruean and Sonny Thompson, to touch base with the Samoa Government and discuss issues for the Inter-Samoa talks.
Lastly the governor said, during this festive season there will be a lot of celebrations and to those who consume alcohol, please drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive, because if anyone breaks the law, there’s nothing he can do about it, the law will be upheld.
Lt. Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga had pointed out earlier in the cabinet meeting that there were reports that some government employees have been caught drinking and driving, and that’s unacceptable.