12 Apr 2006

Samoa's HRPP ruling party increases its support to 35 of the 49 seats

1:19 pm on 12 April 2006

Samoa's Human Rights Protection Party will not officially form its new government until ballots from the March 31st general election have been recounted and results are confirmed.

Tuilaepa Sailele, the prime minister since 1998, remains leader until his party forms a new government and is officially sworn in.

He is the odds-on favorite to retain his leadership of the party and country.

Terry Tavita, an official in the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet says recounting should be completed by April 14.

Mr Tavita says the HRPP has secured 35 seats in the 49 member Parliament, which includes three Independent members who have signed MOUs to join the ruling party.