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Confusion as media asked to leave announcement

By Aigaletaulele’ā F. Tauafiafi APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Jan. 8, 2011) – In Samoa, the list unveiled tallies 46 candidates fighting for 43 of 49 seats.

The six seats with no Tautua candidate are from the five constituencies of Siumu, Aiga i le Tai, Aana Alofi No.1 [two seats], Sagaga le Usoga, Lefaga and Faleseela, and Anoamaa Sisifo.

Leader Va'ai Papu Vailupe, however, said there is nothing to be alarmed about.

"We have about eight [Independent] candidates which we can’t reveal right now, we will reveal them at a later date," he said.

The Tautua Party in its relationship with the media has shown a liking for the dramatic.

Last month, it invited the media on 21 December to announce its leader.

During the meeting, a spat ensued and the media was ordered to vacate the meeting.

Nearly two hours passed before the leader was announced.

It was the same case last Wednesday, as leader Vaai Papu was about to announce the list of candidates, new issues were brought to the surface.

The media was again told to leave. This was at 6:08pm.

The reason for the media ban was due to an issue raised by Aveau Niko Palamo.

"Basically, I’m new and I wanted to know if there was a manifesto. We found there was none but were told we would all be part of its development so that’s fine, said Aveau. For me it was important that I know what the Party stood for before I commit myself to the cause. I’m now satisfied and looking to come back as the governing party."

His two main issues are Education and Developing the Agricultural sector.

It was 7:15 pm when Tafaese Uili Sala Vaimili II, Tautua candidate for Vaimauga Sasa’e asked the media to rejoin for the announcement.

At the foyer awaiting permission to rejoin the meeting, long-time radio journalist Autagavaia Tipi told Tafaese Uili, "This showed the greenness of Tautua. If this was still the Samoa Democratic United Party, perhaps you guys would be a bit more settled and prepared?"

Tafaese commented about the successful reception their delegation received while in Savai’i earlier in the week.

The list announced by Tautua leader Va’ai Papu contains eight current members of parliament: Aeau Peniamina, Toluono Feti, Fuimaono Te’i, Palusalue Faapo II, Levaopolo Talatonu, Motuopua’a Uifagasa Aisoli, Taua Faraimo, and Vaai Papu Vailupe.

Former opposition veterans and leaders include, Su’a Vui Seinafolava Iiga Rimoni Ah Chong, Le Tagaloa Dr Pita Pola Alailima, Tafaese Sala Uili Vaimili II and Letiu Tamatoa Te’o Penaia.

While an exciting new membership joining Lefau Harry Schuster include Fuimaono Falefa Lima running from Falealili, Aveau Lepale Tuala Niko Palamo contesting Faleata i Sasae, and former Assistant police commissioner, Papalii Li’o Taeu Masepau at Fa’asaleleaga No.2.

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