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Togiola: Embrace the outcome of gubernatorial election

Gov. Togiola Tulafono has called on the people of American Samoa to “embrace” the outcome of the Tuesday’s special run off election, where voters elected Lolo Matalasi Moliga as the new governor and Sen. Lemanu Peleti Sialega Mauga as the new lieutenant governor.

Unofficial results of the special election, shows that of the 12,553 counted, the team of Lolo and Lemanu received 6,645 votes or 52.9 percent, while the team of Lt. Gov. Faoa Aitofele Sunia and Taufete’e John Faumuina garnered 5,908 votes or 47.1 percent.

In his address — both in Samoan and English — which lasted about 15 minutes and was aired live on KSBS-FM just after 7 a.m. on Wednesday, the governor congratulated Lolo and Lemanu as well as their campaign committee for their victory.

“It was a fought well and we’ve seen the results of your hard work,” the governor said and also congratulated Faoa and Taufete’e “for a very hard fought campaign — unfortunately, there is only one winner.”

“...our country has spoken and that is our dictate for the next four years," he said.

Togiola also congratulated all the candidates who competed in the gubernatorial race, saying that “your presence and your insights are valuable to our country.” Additionally, “your input and contribution to the process is very important.”

“Now that our country has made the decision, let us all embrace our new leaders and move forward,” he said.

In addition, he congratulated Congressman Faleomavaega Eni for being re-elected for the 13th consecutive two-year term to the U.S. House of Representatives. “We wish you all the best... and the wisdom to continue to pursue greatness for our... territory,” he said.

For the local House race, the governor congratulated the incumbents — who were re-elected, including House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale and the new faipule-elect.

 “We have now completed... our democratic process of elections, let us now have peace and go back to working with one another,” said Togiola. “Let us embrace of our new leaders and move forward.”

He said any margin of victory in any of the races this year is the “will of the people” and its done.

“And it’s incumbent upon all of us, to put aside whatever that was done in the campaigns [and] embrace our new leaders and move forward,” said Togiola. “It is our duty, to all work together to build our democracy so that it is stronger and better.”