Former Commissioner named Acting Chief Election Officer
Tuaolo Manaia Fruean has been appointed as Acting Chief Election Officer effective May 10, 2013, in a memorandum issued by Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga yesterday morning.
Tuaolo was Commissioner of Public Safety in the previous administration and a former Senator from Maoputasi District.
According to the memorandum, Tuaolo will assume the Acting Chief Election position within the Election Office and he shall be responsible in carrying out the mandates of the Election Office.
According to Tuaolo, he was approached by the governor on Thursday afternoon to take on this post and he accepted the appointment.
“My heart is for the people and I’m all about serving the community through the government in any position I’m appointed to, I accepted the governor’s request and will work diligently to uphold laws and regulations of this important office.”
He informed Samoa News that he’ll be in the office Monday morning.
Former Senator Fiatauiaulava Sauni was Acting Chief Election officer for over two weeks. As reported in yesterday’s edition, Velega Savali Jr resigned from this post last month and his last day in office was April 30, 2013.
He informed Samoa News that his move to resign was “due to the slow pace of work he was assigned to, and the brain is dead at such a slow working atmosphere. In other words, it is not challenging, given that the elections are held every two years for the House of Representatives and Congress, while the main election is held every four years — and this is not me,” Velega told Samoa News.
Velega noted that in last year’s election there were 4,000 people who did not vote and this calls for a course of outreach, where election employees need to go out into the villages and educate members of the public, or question them as to why they did not vote. “It’s very important to cast your ballot at every election. Your vote is your voice, yet some people think less of this privilege."
"But it’s an important aspect of life,” he said. He also suggested that the Election Office work together with Samoan Affairs for outreach programs in the villages and said there should be three Election Stations on Tutuila—Eastern, Central, Western and also one on Manu’a so the community can access these offices on a daily basis, instead of driving all the way from one end of the island to the main office located in Tafuna.