LOLO-LEMANU VS FAOA-TAUFETE’E IN THE GUBERNATORIAL RUN OFF, NOV. 20
Voters in American Samoa return to the polls in two weeks time to elect a new governor and lieutenant governor, in a battle between gubernatorial team Lolo Matalasi Moliga and his running mate Lemanu Peleti Sialega Mauga and the team of Lt. Gov. Faoa Aitofele Sunia and his running mate Taufete’e John Faumuina.
Both teams are expected to target supporters of gubernatorial teams, who didn’t make it to the run off.
Local law states that a special or run off election, is held two weeks after the general election if none of the candidates received 50 percent plus one vote. The special election is between the two candidates with the highest number of votes.
In this case, none of the teams got the required number of votes to prevent a run off and therefore Chief Election Officer Soliai Tuipine Fuimaono declared early this morning on KVZK-TV a run off to be held Nov. 20.
According to the unofficial results released early this morning by the Election Office, Afoa L. S. Lutu/Le'i S. Thompson got 2,521 (19.3%); Faoa Aitofele T. F. Sunia / Taufete'e John Faumuina got 4,315 (33.1%); Lolo Matalasi Moliga / Lemanu Sialega Peleti Mauga got 4,372 (33.5%); Salu Hunkin-Finau / Utuali'i luniasolua Tului Savusa got 893 (6.8%); Save Liuato A. Tuitele / Sandra King Young with 763 (5.8%); Tim Jones/Tuika Tuika with 189 (1.4%).
Total ballots counted for the general election came to 13,053 compared to the 2008 gubernatorial race with 12,188 ballots counted.
FAOA AND TAUFETE’E
Just around 12 midnight Faoa and Taufete’e joined their supporters at the Fano Guest Fale, although the counting of ballots for the gubernatorial race at the Fofo polling station was not yet completed.
Lauvao first spoke telling supporters not to give up and not be so down, adding that “we were all expecting a run off” and encouraged the campaign committee and supporters to be strong heading forward.
Faoa said many of the supporters and campaign committee didn’t sleep much on the eve of Election Day as they were all looking forward to the contest. He said that it’s true that the body is tired after the long hours but the spirit should remain strong as the campaign committee prepares over the next two weeks for the run off.
He said everyone should be full speed ahead over the next two weeks and encouraged supporters to be strong in their continued efforts before the run off because “our work is not done yet.”
Faoa also said that he and Taufete’e have not finished their work - visiting homes and knocking on doors.
In his remarks, Taufete’e said the run off is a new election between the top two candidates and he suspected it will be the team of Lolo and Lemanu. He then revealed that as the committee gathered for a prayer at Fano’s Guest Fale, results for the Fofo polling stations were not available yet.
He said the next two weeks will be a challenge for the committee, who should keep in mind that not all of the overseas absentee ballots will be received in time for the special election and that means, the numbers in this electors will change.
Taufete’e then suggested to the campaign committee and supporters to start looking at voters who supported the other gubernatorial teams, who didn’t make the run off.
Lefiti Pese said these voters for the other gubernatorial candidates should be the target of the campaign committee over the next two weeks. He also called for a special meeting of the top officials of the committee to be held at 10 a.m. today while the entire committee would meet around 4 p.m. today.
Samoa News learned early this morning that many supporters of the Faoa and Taufete’e team will be reaching out to voters of the other unsuccessful candidates by day light today.
LOLO AND LEMANU
“We should be happy, we are in the lead with 56 votes however there is work to be done” said Lolo who was accompanied by the chairman of the “Lolo and Lemanu” team Fiu Johnny Saelua.
Prior to Lolo’s remarks, Fiu told the crowd who was present at the headquarters that the absence of candidate for lieutenant Lemanu Peleti Mauga is because he was contacting the teams that did not make it the runoff.
Lolo said there is not much to say but many thanks to the different sub-committees for their hard work that has been shown with the votes in the villages and districts.
“From Manu’a, Tula all the way to the Le Alataua, thank you, it’s not an easy task.... but we are in the lead,” he said. Lolo told the committees that they did not vie to win in every village but “we are thankful that we came in leading and that is the fruits of your hard work, a win with just one vote is the same with winning with a thousand votes.”
“It’s a different feeling, because we gave it our all and it’s the same with the Faoa and Taufetee’s team, they gave it their all,” said Lolo. “To the sub committees wherever you are, thank you.”
Lolo told his supporters to please be mindful and to start thinking about the next step to take. “You know the weaknesses and the strengths of your committees.... we should sit down and think,” he said. “We have 14 more days.”
Fiu told the supporters that they will start walking each and every inch of the villages that they have yet to reach and to talk to every voter that they have yet to talk to over the next two weeks.
Click on attachment to download Samoa News' unofficial vote count for the Governor's and Delegate's races. The election office's unofficial count will be published as it becomes available.