6 Nov 2014

American Samoa's Faleomavaega unseated

10:08 am on 6 November 2014

In American Samoa, Republican Aumua Amata has unseated incumbent Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin.

She is the first woman to be elected to represent American Samoa in the U.S. Congress.

Faleomavaega was first elected to the U.S. House in 1987 and seeking his 14th consecutive two-year term.

But his health has been a major concern by local residents after he was medivaced to Honolulu in October of last year, from complications, which he said was due to exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange while serving in the Vietnam war.

The unofficial results of yesterday's voting gave Aumua who has been running for Congress since 1994, 4,306 ballots or 42.0%. Faleomavaega garnered 3,157 votes or 30.8%.

Togiola Tulafono placed 3rd with 1,130 votes, Mapu Jamias polled 652 votes, Rosie Tago Lancaster-268 votes, Meleagi Suitonu Chapman-229, Tuika Tuika-201, Tuaau Kereti Mata'utia-160 and Mark Ude-143.

The veto override referendum was defeated overwhelmingly. Only 2,670 votes voted yes on the referendum while 6,620 voted no.

Five new representatives were also elected to the American Samoa House of Representatives. Those who lost their seats are Archie Taotasi Soliai, Fagasoaia Lealaitafea, Va'amua Henry Sesepasara, vice Speaker I'aulualo Talia Faafetai and Gafatasi Afalava who lost the election by one vote to a woman challenger, Atalina Asifoa.

Aumua Amata, American Samoa

Aumua Amata, American Samoa Photo: RNZI correspondent