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FAST’s Lautimuia Uelese Vaai tops by-election provisional results

By Staff Reporters.

APIA, SAMOA – 24 FEBRUARY 2023: The FAST Party candidate, Lautimuia Uelese Vaai has topped the Vaimauga 3 by election provisional results with a major swing away from once a HRPP stronghold.

Lautimuia topped the polls in seven booths including his own village of Magiagi while HRPP candidate Samau Leatigagaeono Solitamalii Timani topped six booths with the two polling a draw in one of the fourteen booths.

The provisional results had Lautimuia Uelese Vaai polling 1425 votes, Samau Leatigagaeono Timani with 1008 votes and Independent Feagaimaalii Bruce Toomalatai 103 votes.

Still to be counted are special votes and pre-polling results.

The provisional vote count however shows about two thousand of the 4,781 registered voters for the constituency did not vote.

The Office of the Electoral Commissioner said the final count will proceed tomorrow (Saturday) if the weather lets up as they need the special votes from Savaii. The prevailing unstable weather conditions cancelled today’s sailings between the two islands.

The by-election was called after former Cabinet Minister Tapunuu Niko Lee Hang passed away at the end of last year.

Today’s results show a swing away from HRPP in the villages the long-time Cabinet Minister drew his political support.