SAMOA OBSERVER – By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia – Ah Tong, 04/05/2021
The leaders of the two dominant political parties met with the Head of State today to discuss the possibility of the country heading into another election.
Caretaker Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi and Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) leader, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa met with the Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II to talk over the matter earlier today.
Fiame confirmed the meeting in a telephone interview with the Samoa Observer saying “yes it is true there was a meeting”.
She declined to comment further stating a press statement will be issued this evening relating to the matter.
Attempts are being made to get a comment from the Head of State and the Caretaker Prime Minister.
Following April’s General Election the results have left the two dominant parties in a 26-all draw of seats in Parliament.
An electoral challenge seeking to void the appointment of Ali’imalemanu Alofa Tu’uau is pending in Court and the hearing is set for this Wednesday.
Ali’imalemanu makes up 26 seats for the Human Rights Protection Party that initially won 25 seats from the general election, and F.A.S.T. secured 26 representatives in Parliament including Independent members.
If the decision from the Court goes in favour of F.A.S.T., it will reduce the number for H.R.P.P. leaving F.A.S.T. with a slim majority of one.
In the event that the Court dismisses the F.A.S.T. argument and upholds the appointment of Ali’imalemanu, the country remains in a hung Parliament with no party majority to rule.
There are currently 28 electoral petitions before the Court and the possibility of 28 counter petitions is likely, as indicated by the lawyers involved in the matters.
Chief Justice, His Honour Satiu Simativa Perese estimates the time taken for the Courts to hear the matter will likely take up to 9 to 10 weeks.