Coup claims that Samoa’s elected leader is locked out of parliament. Election news

Samoa’s elected prime minister, Naomi Mata’afa, has been excluded from the Pacific National Parliament because his political opponents refused to give way despite the April general election.

Mataafa arrived at the Pacific National Assembly on Monday, accompanied by a judge, preparing to form a new government, and was sworn to become the country’s first female prime minister.

But the police prohibited her from entering the legislative chamber. The secretary of the parliament said that he could only allow the parliament to sit under the order of the appointed head of state, who was the outgoing prime minister Tuilaepa Seleele Malile. Roy (Tailaepa Sailele Malielegaoi).

The fast-changing events marked the latest turning point in an arduous power struggle. Malielegaoi, who has ruled Samoa for 22 years, refused to give up power, despite the fact that Mata’afa won by a narrow margin in the election last month and was also approved by the court. confirm.

In a speech to supporters outside the parliament, Mata’afa said: “Sometimes we will meet again in the house. Let us leave it to the law.”

When the police barred the prime minister-elect from entering the parliament, Maleli Guavai held a press conference announcing that his government was still in charge.

He said: “Even if we are just the custodian government, Samoa has only one government.” “We will continue to assume this role and operate as usual.”

Samoa is an island country with a population of 220,000. When the April 9 election ended with a 25-25 draw between the FAST party in Mata’afa and the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) in Malielegaoi, it was in crisis.

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.

“Illegal takeover”

Then, Malielegaoi persuaded the head of state Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II to announce the second election on May 21.

FAST filed an appeal, and the Supreme Court ruled last week on the nominated candidates and the new election plan, restoring Mata’afa’s party to a 26-25 majority.

Although the Supreme Court overturned this decision in a rare session on Sunday, Sualauvi responded by requesting the suspension of Parliament and appeared to refuse to revoke the order.

Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese (Satiu Simativa Perese) led the judges of the Supreme Court to swear to the new parliament on Monday. However, when faced with a locked door, the judges turned around and returned to the court.

Mata’afa and hundreds of supporters stayed at the parliament site for about an hour, singing and speaking.

Prior to being elected prime minister, Maleli Guy had been accused of threatening Samoa’s democracy.

She told Newshub on Sunday: “This is an illegal takeover of the government. This is a coup.”

“We must fight for it, because we want to keep this country as a democratically governed country with the rule of law as the premise.”

As the constitutional crisis deepens, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she hopes that a “calm and calm mind” will prevail.

“We support democracy in Samoa, and we will call on other countries to do the same.” Arden told TV New Zealand.

“Obviously, this is a very difficult crossroads. For Samoa, this is a huge change in what has happened in the 20 years since the election.

“Our appeal will be to maintain and uphold the rule of law.”

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne expressed similar views.

“Australia values ??our close friendship with Samoa. She said: “It is important that all parties respect the rule of law and the democratic process. “

“We have full confidence in Samoa’s institutions (including the judiciary).”

Samoa gained independence in 1962 after serving as the protectorate of New Zealand for nearly 50 years. The current HRPP has been in power since 1982, except for the brief 1986-87 alliance period.

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