The XVIIth Parliament of Samoa will finally convene on Tuesday 14 September 2021 following the completion of the preparation of Annual Budget Estimates by Samoa’s new government.
Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa confirmed at her weekly post-cabinet press conference that preparations are now underway for the convening of Parliament, and for her government’s first annual budget to be presented.
Fiame confirmed that the Minister of Finance, Mulipola Anarosa Ale Molioo and her Finance team had presented the Budget Estimates for 2021-2022 to Cabinet on Tuesday.
“After that presentation of the draft budget by the Minister of Finance, we then met with all Ministry heads to discuss the budget,” Fiame told the local media.
The Prime Minister pre-warned that any detailed discussions about the budget would have to wait until the Minister of Finance presents her formal Budget Address in Parliament.
Asked about the $51 million tala – $1m development fund for each of the 51 constituencies FAST had announced during its campaign, Fiame said the Budget has funds for preparations towards this initiative, but not its actual implementation this year.
“The year is already well underway.. there are funds to plan for the implementation of that initiative (e tapena ai),” said the Prime Minister.
Fiame confirmed that all Members of Parliament have been advised about the first sitting of the XVIIth Parliament of Samoa on the 14th of September.
“We also await the Minister and Office of the Electoral Commissioner on their update of parliamentary members given the results of recent Court petitions, and consequent by-elections that would follow,” said the Prime Minister.
Samoa’s XVIIth Parliament should convene with 43 Members given that there are eight expected by-elections following court petitions and resignations of MPs who had secured wins at the April 9th general elections.
Asked about the role of the Head of State at the convening of Parliament, the Prime Minister Fiame said the Speaker of Parliament has already been sworn in, and the process thereafter is that the Speaker would therefore swear in elected MPs.
“That is also how it was done in the tent ceremony..”, said Fiame.
Tuesday 14th of September 2021 would see Parliament finally convene five months or 22 weeks after the nation’s general election.