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Samoa Parliament lockout a 'coup': FAST

May 24, 2021 5:22 pm
Under a marquee, these FAST MPs are being sworn in. [Source: Renate Rivers]

The majority FAST party in Samoa has described the caretaker government’s actions this morning in locking it out of parliament in Apia as tantamount to a coup.

The FAST party which has a majority of seats was locked out of Parliament this morning

Today’s sitting was to swear in MPs after the 9 April election

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Under the constitution Parliament must sit within 45 days of an election and today is the last day for this to be possible.

Just before midnight on Saturday, Samoa’s Head of State, Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aleto’a Sualauvi II, cancelled the sitting without explanation.

In an extraordinary hearing yesterday, the Supreme Court again overruled the head of state’s decision, calling for Parliament to sit today.

Last night, the speaker of the legislative assembly, Leaupepe Taimaaiono Toleafoa Faafisi, a member of the caretaker HRPP, said he would abide by the Head of State’s call, not the Supreme Court ruling.

A Supreme Court decision on 17 May broke a post-election deadlock by handing the new FAST party a 26-25 seat majority over the HRPP – the longstanding governing party headed by Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

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