21 Jun 2007

Samoa has a new head of state

11:31 am on 21 June 2007

A former prime minister of Samoa, Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi, was sworn in yesterday as the country's new head of state.

Tuiatua was selected by the nation's parliament to take over from Malietoa Tanumafili II, who died last month.

Malietoa had been head of state since Samoa became independent from New Zealand in 1962.

Initially, he served as joint head of state with Tuiatua's father, Tupua Tamasese Meaole, who died in 1963.

Tuiatua said he accepted the appointment with a humble and heavy heart.