18 Dec 2020

Fight against Samoa constitutional reforms far from over

From , 5:02 am on 18 December 2020

Opponents to constitutional reforms in Samoa say the fight to stop them is far from over.

All but four of parliament's MPs this week passed the laws that fundamentally alter the constitution and judicial system, which have been widely condemned.

The law elevates the Land and Titles Court - which deals with customary and matai disputes - into a stand alone judiciary equal to the Supreme Court.

Proponents say it bolsters custom, while opponents say they were rushed through and undermine the rule of law.

Former deputy prime minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa left the government over the proposals - she now says she will make them an issue in next year's election.

While she considered some amendments a win - she told Jamie Tahana it's not enough.

Samoa's Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa

Samoa's Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa Photo: Dominic Godfrey / RNZ Pacific