17 Sep 2020

Samoa PM rules out appointing a deputy before elections

6:49 am on 17 September 2020

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuialepa Sailele Malielegaoi, has announced that there will be no deputy prime minister appointed until after next year's General Elections.

Samoan PM, Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi

Samoan PM, Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi Photo: RNZ Pacific /Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

His former deputy, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, resigned from cabinet last week, also vacating the Natural Resources and Environment ministerial portfolio.

Speaking on TV3 television, Tuilaepa said he has decided that he would now take on the portfolio, saying the workload is easy without the need for international travel.

But he explained that Samoa can go without both a deputy prime minister and a deputy leader in the ruling party until after the 2021 polls.

This pours cold water on speculation that a new deputy leader for the Human Rights Protection Party would be appointed before next week's parliament meeting.