Samoa parliament

No path into parliament yet for Samoa's HRPP

There were heated exchanges outside parliament as police turned back former prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and his Human Rights Protection Party colleagues.

The Speaker, Papali'i Li'o Masipa'u, banned HRPP members because he said they refuse to recognise him as Speaker.

Our correspondent Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia said the Speaker has not yet committed to a swearing-in schedule for HRPP.

He thought the Speaker might act at the end of the budget session.

Tuilaepa, who has been highly critical of the courts, is facing contempt charges.

Samoa parlt sits but opposition MPs banned

But it is without the members of the opposition HRPP party, who were shut out by the Speaker, Papalii Lio Masipau.

Papali'i announced a ban yesterday, saying the HRPP is still failing to acknowledge that the FAST party won the election.

This follows months of legal squabbles between the parties but last month the Court of Appeal declared FAST were the legitimate winners of the election.

This morning the HRPP staged a march near the grounds of parliament until police stepped in and told people to return to the party offices.

Samoa PM lenient towards unsworn MPs

The FAST party members, which won the April election, were sworn in under a tent outside parliament while the 25 HRPP members stayed away after a declaration by the Head of State who voided an earlier call for the meeting.

According to the Samoa Observer, the new Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa said regardless of the differences between political parties the unsworn members represent their constituents.

Convene Samoa Parliament: Forum Secretary-General

Forum Secretary General Henry Puna, in a statement said Samoa has for a long time been a shining example of self-determination and democracy within our Forum family.

He said the recent political developments continue to test the stability and relationship between Samoa’s governing institutions.

Puna said the most recent judgments by Samoa’s judiciary affirm a way forward aligned to the Constitution of Samoa.

Samoa head of state calls for August opening of parliament

He made the announcement on television last night ahead of today's deadline set by the Supreme Court for parliament to sit after the April election.

The FAST party won a slim majority but the rival HRPP remains in a caretaker role, insisting that the parliament must have six seats for women.

Only five women were elected and Tuimalealiifano said this has to be taken into account.

Samoa's parliament ordered to sit within a week

But it has also ruled that parliament must sit within 7 days, giving FAST the ability to declare government and be sworn in.

Currently FAST has 26 seats, while the caretaker HRPP government has 24.

However due to the political and constitutional impasse since April's general election, parliament has not yet convened.

The Appellate Court on Friday declared that the issue of a contentious sixth women's electoral seat could not prevent the convening of parliament.

Samoa's Parliament will convene next week

Under the Constitution, Parliament should convene 45 days after an election. Samoa's general election was held on 9 April.

The emergent Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party has a one seat majority in Parliament, following a court case on Monday.

The Office of the Electoral Commission and the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) sought a court order to stay the execution of a Supreme ruling earlier this week in which a sixth women's seat was declared void.

Samoa's Supreme Court rules against AG motion

The FAST party, which is locked in a 26-seat deadlock with the Human Rights Protection Party, was challenging the electoral commissioner's decision to add the seat, which went the way of the caretaker HRPP government, creating the deadlock.

The constitution provides that 10 percent of parliament's seats be reserved for women, but it also specifies that that is five seats. This is the crux of the argument -- the election saw five women elected, or 9.8 percent.

Samoa's gender quota laws may have spurned chances of nation swearing in its first female PM

As a result, an additional woman, Ali'imalemanu Alofa Tuuau, was declared MP for the incumbent Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP), joining five other women already elected to Parliament.

The move has complicated the aspirations of former deputy prime minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, who was expected to become the nation's first female prime minister once her Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST party) claimed a slim majority.

Samoa Parliament mourns death of first term MP

The Lefaga ma Falease'ela MP left Samoa a week ago and died in New Zealand on Tuesday.

The Speaker of the House, Leaupepe Toleafoa Fa'afisi, announced the news in Parliament's final session today before the April's general election.

Parliament marked the death with a moment's silence.

Toleafoa is the second MP of the ruling HRPP party to die while holding office in the current term.

Leaupepe passed his regards on to the popular MP's family.