FAST Party

Samoa's FAST wins first disputed seat of April election

The first term elected MP for Gagaifomauga number 2 electoral constituency Vaele Paia'aua Iona Sekuini has secured the seat after the Supreme Court endorsed the withdrawal of an election petition filed by the former HRPP Associate Minister who held the seat, So'oalo Umi Feo Mene.

The counter petition alleging bribery and treating against the petitioner was also withdrawn.

12 of the FAST party's MPs faced allegations of bribery and treating.

Rulings are expected this week of the 28 petitions heard last week.

Facing contempt suit, Samoa's Tuila'epa eyes budget

With the political stand-off now in its 14th week the FAST party, which won a majority of seats in the April election, is waiting on the outcome of contempt suit, along with other legal matters.

Tuila'epa is named alongside the speaker of parliament, the clerk of the legislative assembly and the attorney general for ignoring a Supreme Court order to convene parliament.

In the motion, Tuila'epa is also accused of undermining the judiciary through disparaging comments.

Lawyers' body concerned about Samoa impasse

It says recent attacks on the nation's judiciary are unacceptable, while current legal and constitutional issues can only be solved through rule of law.

Despite FAST party holding a one seat majority in parliament, the caretaker government of the HRPP is still refusing to concede.

Law Society president Tiana Epati says judges shouldn't be undermined for exercising their independent and impartial judgment.

Samoa's FAST party seeks clarification of court ruling

An Appeal Court decision last week upheld the Suypreme Court's earlier voiding of an extra women's seat in the wash-up from April's national election.

The ruling meant the FAST party maintained its majority of 26 seats in the 51-seat Parliament.

But the court also ruled that six rather than five women MPs was the correct number under Samoa's system providing for 10 percent of parliamentary seats to be reserved for women.

The FAST Party deputy leader Laauli Leuatea Polataivao said the caucus was awaiting the court's clarification.

FAST and HRPP talks remain deadlocked

The talks were an attempt to break the deadlock between both parties and they did not end well.

A statement issued by FAST leader, Fiame Naomi Mataafa said the talks have reached an impasse.

“I wish to issue this statement to let the country know of where we are at this time,” Fiame said.

Fiame and her party maintain that FAST holds the majority of 26 seats to HRPP’s 25 seats following the 9 April general elections and their members were sworn in on the 24 May 2021.

Samoa talks fail to resolve impasse

The parties met yesterday in Apia to try and resolve the stalemate resulting from the 9 April election.

In a statement last night, Fiame maintained that FAST held the majority of 26 seats to the HRPP's 25.

She said these FAST members had been sworn in, with a cabinet appointed and speaker and deputy chosen.

The HRPP leader, caretaker prime minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi continued to claim the result was not clear because 10 percent of 51 members or six women representatives in the House had not been achieved.

Samoa leaders both keen to meet following court ruling

Following yesterdays Court of Appeal decision, both the caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and FAST Party leader Fiame Naomi Mata'afa announced they plan to meet.

But it is clear their intentions are miles apart.

Speaking on TV3Samoa yesterday, Tuilaepa acknowledged the decision to void the appointment of a sixth woman MP meant his HRPP has 25 seats to FAST's 26.

Fiame told local media that with those numbers, they will be looking to meet with Tuilaepa to discuss his departure from office.

Samoan court voids appeal for additional women's seat

Samoa's Court of Appeal has voided the legal challenge by a Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) women's candidate, who said she was wrongly removed as an MP.

Ali'imalemanu Alofa Tuuau had been appointed as the 6th woman's MP by the Electoral Commissioner, but then had her appointment rescinded in a decision by the Supreme Court.

That decision gave the newcomer Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party the slimmest majority in the new parliament, and this latest decision now confirms that.

FAST party lawyer dismisses claims Fiame Naomi Mata'afa was sworn in as PM illegally

When asked by Pacific Beat what she made of the claims by Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who's been Samoa's Prime Minister for more than 20 years, she responded with “bah humbug”.

“We've spent the last five weeks in court challenging all the grubby things that [the HRPP party which has dominated Samoan politics for four decades] have been doing. Misusing the law, and all the officials,” Taulapapa said.

“And the most disgraceful behaviour [on Monday was] locking us out of our house, the people's house.”

FAST Party forms Government according to deputy Tuala Tevaga Iosefo Ponifasio

The FAST Party deputy Tuala Tevaga Iosefo Ponifasio told RNZ that there's no doubt his party is now the government.

He said they were forced into holding Monday's swearing-in ceremony outside parliament.

"According to the constitution, the head of state is supposed to swear in, and if not the head of state then it will be a council of deputies. But none of those were available. They didn't want to be part of this," he said.

"So as far as we're concerned, we formed the government within the 45 legal days and we've done the swearing in and we do have a government."