814 people receive full COVID-19 vaccination in Samoa

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that out of the total who have received their second shot, 578 were male while 236 were female.

The vaccine requires a second variant approximately 8 weeks after their first jab in order for it to take full effect.

Meanwhile, MOH has recorded 42,373 people that have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The total vaccination count has males on 23,416 and females on 18,957 shows M.O.H. data released on Thursday.

HRPP loses seat via petition, by-election looms

It means the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) now has 24 seats with FAST on 26 and a by-election to come.

The court ruled the re-elected HRPP MP for Sagaga No.2 constituency, Seiuli Ueligitone Seiuli, guilty of 13 bribery and two charges of treating.

The court also found the petitioner and former HRPP MP who ran in the general election as an independent, Mauailaivao Patelesio Ah Him, guilty of 10 bribery and one treating charges.

There will now be a by-election in Sagaga No.2 and both the petitioner and respondent have been barred from running.

US Government funds construction and complete rebuild of Samoa’s Lalomauga Primary School

The complex is part of a reconstruction project funded by the US Government.

While opening the facilities, U.S. Embassy Apia, Chargé d’Affaires, Jonathan Lee Yoo, said, “ This project was the direct result of discussions between the American Embassy and the Ministry of Education, Sports, and Culture, when we asked how we could assist with any primary schools in most need of repair or rebuilding.”

The school building was built in accordance with the International Building code and U.S. engineering standards.

Officials horrified by numbers ignoring basic COVID rules at hospital

The National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) on Thursday reminded people that recommendations such as a two-metre social distancing policy in public places and practising good hygiene are still in force.

Director-General of health, Leausa Take Naseri, said he was concerned at the public health risks posed by large groups visiting patients at the national hospital and parents bringing in their children.

At the beginning of Samoa's precautionary measures, there were restrictions on the number of people allowed to go into the hospital, he said.

Law Council of Australia voices concern about Samoa’s political stand-off

It has been nine weeks since voters went to the polls and the two leadership contenders, the long-time PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and his former deputy-turned-rival, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, both still claim to be the legitimate prime minister.

There have been several cases and appeals before the Supreme Court, where the decisions have generally backed the position of Fiame's FAST Party, prompting Tuilaepa to accuse the judges of "conspiring" with his opponents.

Samoa opens new Office of Electoral Commission

The complex is located at Mulinuu.

Caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the cost of the entire work including the design and construction was $4 million, with no variations.

Last year it was announced that the new office would be constructed  by Ah Liki Construction Company. 

The Commission has gone through various relocations, such as at the old Land and Titles Court building at Mulinuu. 

Malielegaoi said the previous location sustained damage due to the weight of crowds of people, who had rushed in for last minute registrations.

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.

Samoa national budget estimates reach $1 billion tala

And it will be at the Government’s disposal for the next five years regardless of whether it’s the H.R.R.P or F.A.S.T Political Party taking over the Governments’ reigns, Caretaker Prime Minister Tuila’epa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi told Radio 2AP.


Call for more Samoa women in village politics as national political standoff continues

Samoa has done more than most Pacific nations to encourage greater political representation of women with its constitutional quota requiring 10 per cent of MPs to be female.

But there's a call for more to be done at the village level where many communities still will not allow woman to sit on local councils even if they have a matai, or chiefly, title.

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.