25 May 2021

Live updates: Samoa's political upheaval continues as rivals in standoff

9:15 am on 25 May 2021

Samoa is facing another day of political uncertainty after the caretaker prime minister rejected the swearing in of the head of the majority FAST party.

Latest updates:

Fiame Naomi Mata'afa was sworn in as the country's first woman prime minister in a ceremony her rival called "treason".

The FAST party arrived at parliament expecting to declare its majority and form a government, but found the doors locked, and instead held the ceremony in a marquee in the grounds. The Supreme Court had ordered parliament to sit, overruling the Head of State's decision to cancel the session.

But HRPP leader and caretaker prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi directed the Speaker to lock the doors, and insisted his HRPP party remained the government.

It is unclear whether the ceremony will be recognised as legal.

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