FAST Leader Calls for Smooth Transition to a New Government for Samoa

Fiame Naomi Mata'afa during live broadcast after Mondays historical Supreme Court judgements were delivered.

Leader of Faatuatua i Le Atua Samoa ua Tasi, Hon Fiame Naomi Maatafa has claimed victory over the 9th April general election and calls on the Public Service to continue their duties in order to ensure a smooth and efficient transition to a new government.

“We invite all the CEOs and staff of the Public Service to undertake their duties independently and impartially, as we transition to a new administration…” said Fiame.

In two historical decisions delivered yesterday afternoon, the Supreme Court of Samoa declared an attempt to appoint an additional HRPP Member of Parliament as unconstitutional, and a writ issued by the Head of State to revoke election results, as unlawful.

The Supreme Court further declared the results of Samoa’s April 9th General Elections as valid and lawful – essentially taking the nation back to the FAST party’s majority of 26 members over HRPP’s 25.

In delivering its decision, the Supreme Court also reminded the Head of State of his constitutional obligations to convene Parliament within 45 days of a general election.

“The Head of State’s attention is directed to the requirements of Article 52, and the Head of States obligation under the Constitution to call a meeting of the Legislative Assembly within 45 days of the holding of a General Election”, reads the Supreme Court decision.

The leader of the FAST party says the Supreme Court has pronounced the law, and in abiding by the law, she expects Parliament to convene immediately.

“FAST will now invite the Clerk of Parliament to make the arrangements to convene the first session of Parliament after the conduct of the General Elections on 9 April and the warrants of election which declared 51 Members of Parliament you wish to lead this country for the next 5 years under my leadership as Prime Minister elect”.

Caretaker Prime Minister, Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, however, in a live broadcast on the same evening says the Supreme Court decisions would be appealed, and insisted Parliament would not be called until after election petitions were heard and decided.

“Ua tapena ai i le aso le talosaga apili e toe iloilo ai le faaiuga lenei, ona o loo iai mafuaaga tetele lava e ao ai ona toe apili, o aga lava ia faafamasinoga.”

Tuilaepa says Parliament cannot be called until the 28 election petitions and counter-petitions are heard and decided.

“That means there are 75 election petitions in total..” he said.

Following the Supreme Court decision, Tuilaepa says the results of the April 9th General Election now stands at HRPP 25, FAST 24, Independent 2. The two Independents referred to, however, are FAST leader Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa and Independent-turned-FAST Tuala Tevaga Ponifasio, whom caretaker Prime Minister says are still officially Independent.

Fiame and a delegation of FAST party members have met with the Head of State to hand over a letter listing their 26 elected MPs, and calling for Parliament to convene immediately.

Sina Retzlaff