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.

Samoa Parliament session ends early as HRPP MPs leave

Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi spoke and hugged the former Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegoi earlier today.

Earlier the police ordered HRPP members to leave, with a bus waiting to take the HRPP members away from Parliament grounds, but the group refused.

After the arrival of the Head of State, the HRPP members eventually left on their own accord.

Tuilaepa and 18 members of the HRPP have been banned from entering parliament for a second day by the Speaker Papali'i Li'o Masipa'u for failing to acknowledge the FAST government.

Samoa police told to remove HRPP members

Despite the police instructing the HRPP to clear out, the opposition members have refused and requested the Speaker come out to address them in the FaaSamoa tradition.

They say this is the way they dealt with protest marches when they were in power.

The Head of State, Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, then arrived was then seen greeting the tearful leader of the HRPP Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

Tuimalealiifano's arrival came after 18 elected but unsworn MPs, including Tuilaepa, were protesting their inability to enter Parliament.