14 Nov 2017

Samoa's head of state could have single 10-year term

10:38 am on 14 November 2017

The Samoa Parliament has endorsed a constitutional amendment that may extend the term in office of the head of state from five to ten years.

Tuimalealiifano Va'aleto'a Sualauvi II

Tuimalealiifano Va'aleto'a Sualauvi II. Photo: Supplied

Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, said this came after the former head of state, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, was not re-elected after two five year terms.

The former head of state was defeated by one of the longest serving former member of the council of deputies, Tuimalealiifano Va'aleto'a Sualauvi II, after a HRPP caucus vote.

Tuila'epa said that in the present Parliament several MPs are related to the Tui Atua and the current head of state.

He reminded the house that nearly all Samoans are related not only through genealogies but the matai titles they hold.

During the debate independent opposition MP, Olo Fiti Talatonu Va'ai, opposed the amendment, calling for the head of state term to be for life.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs