3 May 2021

Samoa caretaker PM urged to concede defeat

2:07 pm on 3 May 2021

Samoa's FAST party leader, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa has urged the caretaker prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, to concede defeat.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, left, and Fiame Naomi Mata'afa

Photo: RNZ Pacific / Tipi Autagavaia

She told Samoa media at the weekend that he should recognise the recent election result in which her party won 26 seats against 25 seats won by HRPP (Human Rights Protection Party).

Fiame said the country decided FAST (Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi) should form a new government but that decision had been usurped by an unelected government official's unilateral decision that has created the political stalemate.

She was referring to the Electoral Commissioner appointing the HRPP's Ali'imalemanu Alofa Tu'u'au as the 6th woman MP and forcing a tie of 26 seats each.

FAST has launched a legal challenge over this move with the matter due to be heard at the Supreme Court from Wednesday.

On Friday Fiame told RNZ Pacific she expected a decision by this Friday and believed that it would be in her party's favour.

"We expect that we will win this issue of the extra member. So we are just waiting for the process to happen but of course we can't pre-empt the decision of the court - so everyone's waiting for the decision of the court."

Samoa's parliament

Samoa's parliament Photo: RNZ Pacific /Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Meanwhile, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi told media last month of the possibility of a united government to avoid Samoa having a hung Parliament.

He said that if parliament was split evenly with both sides having 26 seats, then the only course of action would be for the Head of State to be asked to dissolve Parliament and call fresh elections.

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