22 May 2021

Samoa election saga drawing to a close

From Pacific Waves

The Samoa election saga is finally drawing to a close well over a month since polls closed on the 9th of April.

The election delivered an historically close result with the caretaker Human Rights Protection Party or HRPP neck and neck with newcomer Faatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi Party or FAST Party.

On the eve of FAST breaking the 25-25 deadlock by gaining the allegiance of the country's only independent MP an additional women's seat was declared ostensibly to meet a 10% threshold for reserve seats for women but controversially handing an extra seat to HRPP and restoring a tie at 26 seats a piece.

After numerous legal challenges and court battles, and loaded political rhetoric, the additional womens' seat has been revoked with parliament to convene on Monday with FAST commanding a slim majority of 26 over the HRPP's 25 seats.

Our correspondent in Samoa Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia joins me from Apia, finally some light at the end of the tunnel Tipi?

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

Photo: RNZ Pacific / Tipi Autagavaia