21 Mar 2011

Former opposition leader in Samoa joins new ruling party cabinet

6:32 am on 21 March 2011

One of Samoa's veteran politicians and a former opposition leader, Le Mamea Ropati, is one of the new members of Samoa's cabinet.

Le Mamea Ropati, who won a seat for the ruling HRPP, has become the new minister for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

He led the Samoa Democratic United Party in the general elections of 2006, which won just 10 of the 49 seats of Parliament.

A leadership struggle saw the party disintegrate with Le Mamea becoming an independent.

He is replacing, Taua Kitiona Seuala, who is the former Minister of Agriculture, but was not amongst the prime minister's choice for a second term in cabinet.

Others no returning to Cabinet are the former Minister of Police and Prisons, Toleafoa Apulu Faafisi, and Tuu'u Anasii Leota, who was Minister of Revenue, as well as the former Minister of Finance, Papalii Niko Lee Hang.

The former speaker, Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Lei'ataua, is the new minister for Women's Affairs, taking over from veteran woman MP, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, who is the new Minister of Justice.

Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, who was toppled by the new deputy prime minister, Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, in the ruling party's election of a deputy leader by 21 votes to 15, has been appointed the new Minister of Finance.

Faumuina was the minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

The former Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau, is the new minister of Telecommunications, SamoaTel and Broadcasting, but new comer and MP of Safata constituency's two seats in parliament, Manu'alesagalala Enokati Posala, is the new Minister of Works.

The Ministry of Police and Prisons has a new minister, the second term MP, Sala Fata Pinati.

A most senior MP and one of the HRPP's founding member, Tuiloma Lameko, is the new Minister of Revenue, while the former Vice Chancellor of the National University of Samoa , Magele Mauiliu Magele, is the new minister of Education, Sports and Culture.

One of the three woman MPs in the last cabinet, Gatoloaifa'na Amataga Alesana Gidlow, has been dropped and replaced by, a medical doctor, Tuitama Dr Talalelei Tuitama, as new Minister of Health.

The former CEO of the newly established research institute, Faamoetauloa Faale Tumaali'i, is the new minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

The newly elected deputy prime minister, Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, is the minister of Trade Commerce, Industry and Labour.

The prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, has new portfolios under his supervision such as the Tourism Authority and the Samoa Land Corporation, in addition to his many other portfolios such as the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Foreign Affairs, Attorney General office, and the Public Service Commission.