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Two ASTCA board members are axed by Governor Lolo

Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The day after Christmas, December 26th, two members of the American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA) Board were axed, per a signed letter from Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga.

Leone lawmakers — Senator Faiivae Alex Godinet and representative-elect Andra Samoa — were hand delivered letters signed by Lolo noting their dismissal from the ASTCA Board, with the explanation that it is the "administration's policy not to appoint members of the Legislature to executive branch boards and commissions, unless required to do so by statutory mandate."

According to Lolo, said policy helps "preserve the separation of powers" between the government's executive and legislative branch.

Through his letter, Lolo told Samoa that her election, along with Senator Faiivae's continued service on the American Samoa Telecommunications Authority Board, "brings this issue to the forefront."

Lolo continued, “I am therefore replacing both you and the Senator’s seats on the board. By this letter you are advised that effective this date, your service to the ASTCA board is no longer required, and your seat on the board will be replaced in due course.

I wish to take this opportunity to express the administration’s appreciation for your efforts in seeing ASTCA through what have been difficult and challenging times.”

Samoa News spoke to Samoa — who will be sworn in today as a faipule for Fofo District.

According to her, the letter was hand delivered to her last Thursday, December 27th by a Governor's Office staff member.

News of Samoa and Faiivae's removal has spread like wildfire in the community, raising eyebrows from other Fono members who serve on various boards and commissions.

The administration's policy, as quoted by Lolo in his letter to Samoa, has caught many by surprise, as, over the years, lawmakers have been known to hold seats on boards and commissions directly related to government — without statutory mandates.

Samoa News was unable to confirm as of press time yesterday, rumors that Faiivae and Samoa will be replaced by the Governor's Executive Assistant, Iulogologo Joseph Pereira and Alema Leota.