New era for women's representation in Samoa

The swearing-in follows a court ruling issued by Chief Justice, Satiu Simativa Perese, Senior Justice Vui Clarence Nelson, and Justice Lesatele Rapi Vaai.

The new MPs - Ali'imalemanu Alofa Tuuau, Faagasealii Sapoa Feagai of the Human Rights Protection Party, and Faatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi member To'omata Norah Leota - increase the number of seats in the House to 54.

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa congratulated the women and welcomed them saying it had not been an easy journey so far.

Samoan court rules Parliament will have three new women MPs

The Samoa Observer reports the decision means the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) will have two new members, Aliimalemanu Alofa Tu'uau and Fa'agaseali'i Sapo'a Feaga'i, while the ruling FAST party has one additional member, Toomata Norah Leota.

This boosts the number of seats in Parliament to 54.

The decision, however, makes little difference to FAST's majority as it now has 31 seats to the HRPP's 22.

One seat is yet to be decided with the pending by-election for the Gagaifomauga 2 seat which became vacant after Va'ele Iona Sekuini died suddenly last month.

Samoa court clears two by-election winners

Senior Justice Vui Clarence Nelson and Justice Niavā Mata Tuatagaloa accepted the request from Fata Ryan Schuster to withdraw his petition alleging treating and bribery against Sagaga 2 winner Maulolo Tavita Amosa.

They also agreed to withdraw a counter petition by Maulolo also alleging treating and bribery by Fata.

Leave was then granted to withdraw and petitioner Fata to pay $1,000 tālā for costs.

Bill to repeal controversial tax in Samoa to be discussed in Parliament

The bill has been in parliamentary committee stages with the Bills Committee since it was tabled late last year.

The amendment by the FAST party government follows an election promise that is credited with securing the vote of members of the Congregational Christian Church, and a pivotal part of the upset change of government.

A consultative meeting between the new government and all church denominations in Samoa last November confirmed they were all in favor of dumping the tax introduced by the former HRPP government.

South Africa parliament fire flares up again

Flames were seen billowing from the building's roof on Monday, as firefighters tried to douse the blaze.

The fire first broke out on Sunday and completely destroyed the National Assembly, or lower chamber.

Police have arrested a suspect who will appear in court on Tuesday on charges of arson, housebreaking and theft.

Two Samoa by-election winners face legal challenges

First time MP for Falealili II electoral constituency, Fuimaono Maiava Tito of the ruling FAST party has been sued by Leleimalefaga Ne'emia Fonotia, the Human Rights Protection Party candidate who was second in the final vote count.

In the Sagaga 2 seat, by-election night winner Maulolo Tavita Amosa of HRPP faces a challenge by FAST candidate Fata Ryan Schuster, who was third in the polls.

All parties were to appear this morning to set dates for hearings on charges on treating and bribery.

2 Samoa MPs swearing in delayed

In a statement, the Speaker outlined reasons for the deferment.

He said the Warrant of appointment of the two women is being challenged in court as to the validity, as to whether it was issued at the correct time.

“The Warrant also seems to have been issued prematurely and may be invalid as a petition has been filed by a woman from the by-election and so her results are still not finalised and so the election results are still not finalised as has been directed by the Court of Appeal.”

Concerns raised about state of Savai’i health facilities

Member of Parliament for Gagaemaquga No. 2, Seuamuli Fasi Toma spoke of worrying health issues which remain an experience at health facilities in Savai’i.

In the Vaipouli Hospital, the issue is the lack of doctors – according to Seuamuli, the doctor only comes once a week hence, he urged for a doctor to permanently remain at Vaipouli hospital to assure the health of the people on the big island.

At Safotu Hospital, hospital beds are old and weak.

There is only one wheelchair which is shared by many patients.

Samoa's Parliament resumes today

TV1Samoa reports the amendments will see the reintroduction of special polling booths for voters not resident in the electoral constituencies they are eligible to vote in.

The pre-polling initiative which was introduced for the first time in the April 2021 General Elections also comes in for some changes.

Pre-polling will be conducted in one day and not four as it was during the general elections.

These amendments and changes have been labelled by Opposition Leader, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, as discriminatory.


Photo file RNZ Pacific 

Bitter rivals embrace as Samoan MPs finally sworn in

It came after opposition MPs were sworn in after a court ruling paved the way for them to be allowed into parliament.

The speaker, Papali'i Lio Masipau, had banned elected members of the opposition HRPP from attending this week's parliament sessions and refused to swear them in.

On Thursday however, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the HRPP saying the speaker was obligated to swear in its elected members.

Papali'i banned the opposition MPs for what he saw as their continued denial of the legitimacy of the FAST government.