Senate Confirms Uiagalelei as Election Commissioner

Senators voted unanimously this morning to confirm Dr. Lealofi Uiagalelei as the next Election Commissioner of American Samoa. The vote was 15-0.

Uiagalelei appeared briefly before the Senate Government Operations Committee, chaired by Senator Galeai Tuufuli where he was complimented and thanked for agreeing to serve as the head of the territory’s Election Office.

He was asked about his role as the Coordinator of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), a position he held prior to being picked by the governor as Chief Election Commissioner un October.

soliaiTwo senators,Tuaolo Manaia Fruean and Soliai Tuipine are former Election Commissioners and Uiagalelei worked under them.

Soliai told Uiagalelei the public would like to hear an announcement from him regarding this year’s elections.

He asked the nominee what he thought about continuing the tenure of those holding public offices now so that there wont be an election in November.

The general elections are to elect a Governor and Lt. Governor, a delegate to Congress and members of the American Samoa House of Representatives.

Uiagalelei said matter of factly to Soliai, “provided you and Tuaolo will visit me in prison.”

Senator Uti Petelo said in reference to Uiagalelei ‘s degree if he didn’t think his services would be better utilized at the LBJ hospital which is in need of doctors.

Uiagalelei, a doctor of education, said his credential is appropriate for the Election Office.

IVA UIAGALELEIBefore Uiagelelei was excused, Soliai told him after he’s confirmed dont forget to return and express his appreciation.

Uiagalelei’s wife Iva, some of their children, and other relatives witnessed the confirmation hearing.

The House of Representatives is holding a confirmation hearing for Uiagalelei 8:30 tomorrow morning

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