AMERICAN SAMOA RE-ELECTS MAILO SAO NUA SPEAKER

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (January 5, 1999 - PACNEWS)---The American Samoa House of Representatives has re-elected Mailo Sao Nua to a second term as Speaker.

Mailo defeated a Tauese government candidate, Agaoleatu Charlie Tautolo by two votes in an election held Sunday, January 3, the date set by the American Samoa Constitution for new legislatures to elect leaders.

Since the general elections last November, members of the House had been almost invisible, with the different camps meeting almost daily in private homes to map out their strategies and trying to guess how many supporters their opponents had.

Although the rumour mill had it that there were more than four possible candidates for the Speaker's chair, only two legislators contested the post: incumbent Speaker Mailo Sao Nua and Saole Representative Agaoleatu Charlie Tautolo.

With only a two-vote victory, House Speaker Mailo is expected to face a tough challenge over the next two years from Tauese administration supporters, who backed his only challenger.

Mailo is one of the longest serving legislators from his home island, Ta‘u, in the Manu‘a group.

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