7 May 2007

Former Samoa opposition MP wins by-election

7:05 am on 7 May 2007

A former Samoa Democratic United party MP, who lost his parliamentary seat in last year's general election, has won in the Vaimauga west constituency by-election held over the week-end.

The former SDUP MP, Patu Ativalu, has topped the polls with 697 votes and this time he's joining the ruling Human Rights protection party or HRPP.

Before the by-election, Patu announced that he would not stand for the SDUP again because many of his supporters had advised him to join the government as the SDUP is no longer recognized as an opposition and party in parliament.

Another HRPP party candidate, Taumanupepe Keleso, polled the second highest votes with 626.

Ten candidates were competing with eight standing for the ruling party.

But the only Samoa party candidate, Leta'a Tanielu Devoe, who was not successful in the 2006 general election, came sixth with only 116 votes.

The winning candidate will be sworn in when parliament will reconvene at the end of the month for the tabling of the next financial year budget.