House approves Faleosina to head DPW in reconsideration vote
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Last Friday Acting Director of Public Works Faleosina Voigt was approved by the House of Representatives by unanimous vote, the same chamber that rejected her on Thursday last week by a vote of 9-7. Voigt has been Director of Public Works for the 8 years of the Lolo Lemanu Administration.
It was during Thursday’s House Session that Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga’s choice for Director of Public Works was rejected by the faipule after Voigt appeared before the House Public Works committee for her confirmation hearing. Voigt needed 11 votes to pass confirmation but it was during the secret ballot that she only received 9- yes while 7 faipule voted against her.
After Voigt was rejected, Rep. Faimealelei Anthony Fu’e Allen moved for reconsideration and the motion was approved by a majority show of hands. Faimealelei told faipule that Voigt is a daughter of Speaker and Elder Deacon Savali Talavou Ale and out of respect for their relationship with the speaker, it’s his opinion they should review her nomination.
Before last Friday’s session, House members met in the conference room with Speaker Savali. Samoa News understands that the main issue discussed during the meeting was the issue regarding a reconsideration vote for Voigt. There was no further discussion before faipule cast their votes by secret ballot where Voigt was unanimous approved by a vote of 16-0.
Samoa News notes it was during a discussion in the House of Representatives last week about removing the provision for a reconsideration vote from House Rules that Speaker of the House, Savali Talavou Ale advised members of the House Rules Committee that the committee should review the rules and report their recommendations to the House for discussion and vote.
Vice Speaker Fetu Fetui, Jr said that it is time to remove the reconsideration vote from House rules because of incidents that have happened in the past. He told Savali that they held a hearing on the issue and were advised by the Legislative Counsel, that the reconsideration vote was intended to apply only to bills that are defeated. However, according to Fetui, the reconsideration rule has now been applied to confirmation votes, which is not according to House Rules.