Samoa crisis intensifies, head of state suspends parliamentary election news

Samoa crisis intensifies, head of state suspends parliamentary election news



The unexpected order was that Samoa was the first female prime minister two days before the parliament scheduled the swearing-in of opposition leader Fiame Naomi Mata’afa.

After the head of state of Samoa suddenly cancelled the parliamentary meeting, Samoa fell into a new political turmoil. The meeting is expected to confirm that this is the first change of government in a Pacific country in nearly 40 years.

Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II issued an order late on Saturday, which occurred two days before Samoa’s newly elected parliament would assemble and swear against the opposition FAST party chairman Fiame Naomi Mata’afa as the country’s first female prime minister.

In a brief announcement posted on Facebook, Sualauvi said that he “will suspend parliamentary voting until the announcement, and for reasons that I will announce in due course.”

FAST said it will ask the Supreme Court to overturn the order on Sunday.

The decision to appoint the head of state is the latest turning point in a political crisis that broke out after the general election on April 9th. The election was tied at 25-25 between the FAST party and the current Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP). The relationship ended and there was only one independent candidate.

The election commissioner intervened and appointed another OHCHR candidate who was said to be in compliance with the constitutional minimum quota for women in Parliament.

At the same time, independent candidates chose FAST and won 26-26.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi (Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi), who has held the highest office for 22 years, then persuaded Sualauvi to announce that the second general election will be held on May 21.

FAST appealed, and the Supreme Court ruled last week on both the appointed candidates and the new election plan, restoring Mata’afa’s party to a 26-25 majority.

When the appeal panel rejected HRPP’s request to suspend these rulings on Friday, Sualauvi asked Congress to meet on Monday and then cancel the order on Saturday night.

Radio New Zealand said that Sualauvi’s latest announcement “convenes parliament within 45 days of parliamentary elections” raises constitutional issues, and “any meeting other than Monday seems to violate this rule.”

At the same time, Malielegaoi insisted that HRPP still leads the country by 220,000, while Mata’afa stated that she will challenge this latest decision in court.

The daughter of Samoa’s first independent prime minister, Mata’afa, was a representative of Malielegaoi and separated from the government last year after opposing changes to the Samoa constitution and judicial system.

The 64-year-old said she “will abide by the rule of law.”


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