DIGNITARIES TO HONOR AMERICAN SAMOA SWEARING-IN

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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (January 2, 2000 - PIDP/CPIS)---Two Heads of State will attend Wednesday morning’s swearing-in ceremony for Governor Tauese Pita Fiti Sunia and Lt. Governor Togiola Talalelei Tulafono into their second four-year term, according to the Governor’s Office.

The Governor’s Chief of Staff, Pati Fai’ai, confirmed that Samoa’s Head of State, His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II, and Tonga’s King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV will be witnesses to the swearing-in ceremony.

Whether or not they will stay for Friday’s inauguration ceremonies is not immediately known.

The King and his entourage arrived Monday afternoon and were greeted by Lt. Governor Togiola Tulafono and an honor guard under the direction of Commissioner of Public Safety Te’o J. Fuavai.

Malietoa arrived late Friday afternoon after enjoying the festivities surrounding his 88th birthday in Apia.

The Samoa Police Band is also scheduled to take part in the swearing-in ceremony.

The Governor’s Office did not release a list of other VIPs and guests.

Presided over by Elder Rev. Siaosi Saifoloi of the CCCAS-Sailele, the two-long swearing-in ceremony is set to begin at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday at Lee Auditorium.

Chief Justice Michael Kruse will have the honor of administering the oaths of office to Tauese and Togiola for their second and last terms in office.

An invitation-only luncheon will follow the ceremony.

Sources said that the governor and his wife plan to host a State Dinner Thursday evening for Malietoa, in honor of his 88th birthday.

Fai’ai could not confirm the event but said that it was part of the plan.

Friday’s official inauguration program has not yet been released. The day’s festivities are scheduled to start around 2:00 p.m. but the venue remains unknown at this time.

Wednesday is considered a regular workday for government employees while Friday will be a local government holiday.

Members of the 27th Legislature will also be sworn into office on Wednesday, but a program for that ceremony was not available yesterday.

Each chamber will hold its own swearing-in ceremony followed, by the election of their leadership.

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