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Samoa’s First Elected Female Prime Minister Not Allowed by the Incumbent to Take Oath

WebdeskMay 26, 2021, 10:08 AM IST

Samoa’s First Elected Female Prime Minister Not Allowed by the Incumbent to Take Oath

Samoa’s first elected female Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa was locked out of the parliament Monday and not allowed to take oath by the incumbent Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoni. Malielegaoni, who has been the prime minister since 1998, refused to resign after losing the April 9 election by one seat. Mata’afa is the leader of FAST party and Malielegaoni is the leader of Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP). The FAST led coalition won 26 of the parliament’s 51 seats but HRPP also claims to have won 26 seats. Malielegaoni’s party has been in power for four decades. Samoa, a country with two major islands, with a total population of about 2 lacs has been peaceful for years. The speaker of the parliament has sided with the incumbent Prime Minister Malielegaoni. According to Samoa's constitution, the new prime minister has to take oath within 45 days. Mata’afa took oath Monday in a tent erected outside the parliament building. Both New Zealand as well as Australia, has supported Mata’afa and requested Malielegaoni to follow the law. Mata’afa formed her party, FAST, last year to contest polls.

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