15 Jul 2021

Samoa's HRPP loses another seat in petitions

11:34 am on 15 July 2021

Samoa's defiant caretaker government has lost another seat following the latest court petition over the election result.

The HRPP had 25 seats to winner FAST's 26 but a series of losses at the courts now has them languishing with 18.

The FAST party has challenged the results in 10 electorates and will have the chance to re-contest in seven of them.

HRPP's refused to cede power despite poll results and numerous court rulings against it.

Of the seven up-coming by-elections five involve the same candidates.

In the other two, the winning HRPP MPs have stepped down after being found guilty of corruption.

Crowds outside Samoa's Supreme Court head to parliament, where the Speaker has refused to convene the house amid a constitutional crisis, 24 May 2021.

Crowds outside Samoa's Supreme Court head to parliament, where the Speaker has refused to convene the house amid a constitutional crisis, 24 May 2021. Photo: Supplied

Latest loss

The electoral constituency of Safata 2 in Samoa is heading to a by-election following the resignation by the winner, the incumbent MP, Nonu Lose Niumata.

The Samoa Observer reports his resignation follows an agreement with the electoral petitioner, FAST Party candidate, Laumatiamanu Ringo Purcell, who has agreed to withdraw and go back for a new poll.

The move sees the HRPP lose its seventh seat leaving it with 18 to the 26 held by FAST.

Nonu is a former chief executive of the Accident Compensation Commission and was seeking a second term in office.

He had defeated Laumatiamanu, who ran as an HRPP candidate in the 2016 General Elections, and had again won the final count in the latest polls.

Other electoral constituencies facing by-elections include, Sagaga No1, No2 and No4, Safata 1, Aleipata-Itupa-I-Lalo and Falealupo.

Head of State Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, and caretaker Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, asked to attended Appeal Court hearing

The Samoa Court of Appeal has asked the head of state and caretaker Prime Minister to a key court sitting this Friday.

Samoa Global News says on Tuesday the Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese handed down a list of people whose presence may be necessary to enable the Court of Appeal to effectively adjudicate on all matters raised.

The hearing follows a request from the Attorney General for the Court to strike out some conditions of a Supreme Court decision which had declared the FAST swearing-in ceremony outside Parliament was unlawful.

The conditions directly ordered the attorney general to ensure Parliament convene within 7 days of the decision or the Court would reconsider the legality of the swearing-in, under the doctrine of necessity.

An application by the Samoa Law Society to join as an 'intervener' which was not opposed by any of the parties, was accepted by the Court.

The Vice President of the society, Su'a Hellene Wallwork-Lamb, said their organisation is impartial and would be making submissions on a much broader basis rather than the focused interests of the parties.

"Our submissions will be more along the lines of upholding the Rule of Law, the Constitution and the Powers of the Court," she said.