Fiame Naomi Mata'afa

Samoa's Tuila'epa sued for contempt

It was filed by the prime minister-elect, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, in the latest twist in a two-month political crisis.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi is named alongside the speaker of parliament, the clerk of the legislative assembly, and the attorney general.

The FAST party, which won April's election, accuses the four of contempt for ignoring a Supreme Court order to convene parliament, at which point FAST should have been sworn in as government.

They were forced to hold an ad-hoc swearing outside - the legitimacy of which is also subject to legal challenge.

Fiame calls for Tuilaepa to end 'enormous assault'

The country is in a constitutional crisis after the FAST party, which won a majority in April's election, was blocked from entering parliament to form a government on Monday.

The Head of State had canceled a scheduled sitting on Saturday, but that was overruled by the Supreme Court on Sunday.

FAST's members arrived on Monday to find parliament locked, with the clerk and speaker saying they were acting on orders from the caretaker minister for parliament, HRPP leader Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

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.”

Samoa incumbent leader needs to 'get a grip' PM-elect says

Samoa's Attorney-General has filed a complaint with the Supreme Court, claiming Monday's swearing in of the FAST party was unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court heard it for mention yesterday afternoon, and set down a hearing for Thursday at noon.

The attorney-general named the FAST party leader, incoming Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, all of its MPs and their lawyers as respondents.

In a statement last night threatening action, the attorney-general's office said those who conducted the ad-hoc swearing in ceremony held Monday afternoon had no legal authority.

Fiame says Samoa diaspora key for FAST

Fiame's party has tentatively won 25 seats in the new parliament, the same as the caretaker Human Rights Protection Party, with one seat held by an independent.

Fiame told RNZ’s Dateline that she anticipates results to be completed this week or early next week.

“So it’s really to await the outcome. Whether there are any changes or not and until we have that official result than we will know how things will progress.”

Fiame also commended the team for FAST party’s meteoric rise.

Samoa's Fiame Naomi Mata'afa calls PM's claims ridiculous

The Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, ordered a Commission of Inquiry to look into the behaviour of Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, and three other MPs, La'auli Leuatea Polataivao Schmidt, Faumuina Wayne Fong, and Olo Fiti Vaai.

They are all members of the Opposition Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi, or FAST Party.

Tuila'epa said the MPs had been campaigning when they should have been in parliament.

But Fiame said she was not concerned by something that was "quite ridiculous really".

"I have yet to get the formal motion.

Samoa's former Deputy PM to join new political party

Fiame told a rally on Tuesday that she will make the much anticipated move after Parliament sits for the last time next Tuesday.

Samoa Observer reports that she encouraged voters at Safata 2 electoral constituency to exercise their right to vote to achieve a change of government.

"We were also there in Government, but the reason we left was due to extreme abuse of power," she said.

Samoa’s former DPM indicates joining main position party

Fiame stepped down from the Deputy PM role in September claiming the country was "sliding away from the rule of law" and, has since been an independent citing "rigged" electoral rules.

"I've been working with the new party Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) and when parliament resumes in January I can become a member of the FAST Party because you will appreciate that you can't do much as an individual."

Fiame to not join another Samoa political party soon

Fiame resigned last week and the veteran politican says she will remain an independent for the rest of the current parliamentary term.

She says the implication of joining another party now that she has left the governing HRPP was that she would lose her seat immediately which she did not want.

Fiame has made it clear she wants to run in next April's Elections and says she has discussed this with her former leader and Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

Samoa court legislation would undermine rule of law - Fiame

Fiame, a long serving MP for the Human Rights Protection Party, was, until last week, deputy prime minister and natural resources minister.

From 2011 to 2016 she was justice minister.

Fiame said she was concerned the autonomy to be granted to the court would amount to a dismantling of the judicial sector, because there would be no oversight of its actions by the Supreme Court.

"They will have a judiciary but with very flimsy provisions around legal issues and processes, and it is the discretionary powers that I am very uncomfortable with.