Second vote called in latest twist of most dramatic election in Samoa history | Samoa
Samoa will return to the polls after the most dramatic elections in the country’s history left the country deadlocked, with threats of legal action and fears of “hijacking” and “deception”.
The South Pacific nation will vote again on May 21 after Samoan head of state – a separate post from the country’s prime minister – Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II on Tuesday announced that he had revoked the results of the April 9 general election. .
“I am assured that as head of state I am able to call new elections where, after a general election, there is no clear majority to call for a government and where it is clear that it is in the public interest to do so, ”he announced. at a press conference.
There has been a persistent stalemate in Samoa since the election between the Human Rights Protection Party (HRRP), which has ruled Samoa for 39 years, and Faatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) which has was founded in June 2020.
FAST chief, who was previously HRRP deputy and deputy prime minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa rejected the decision and accused acting prime minister and HRPP head Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi of interfering in the electoral process.
“We denounce this behavior and the misappropriation of resources and public officials to retain power. We must follow this process without embezzlement or deception, ”she said during a press briefing.
The country has been in a provisional state since the dissolution of parliament in March.
Acting Prime Minister Malielegaoi, who has been the second prime minister in office for more than 22 years, congratulated the head of state on his decision to call a new election and said his party is leaving the results of the next election “To the Lord”.
The news shocked many residents of the small island nation, still embroiled in the April 9 election petitions.
“I’m not happy, I can’t believe it. It is an absolute abuse of power, ”said Pepe Ioane, a voter from Savai’i Island. Ioane, who voted for a FAST candidate, said she shouldn’t be forced to vote twice.
Samoan media commentator Rudy Bartley said the decision to hold a new election is unprecedented.
“With the announcement of new elections, Samoa now faces a gigantic task of organizing and implementing a national election scheduled in two weeks. Compared to the last election in April, which took five years to prepare and deploy. My question is, can we trust the integrity of these rushed elections to give a fair and honest representation of the people’s choice when it comes to deciding on an elected government to represent the Samoan people? “
The election was the most contested in Samoan history, with the two main parties winning 25 seats and one seat going to an independent who became king or queen.
On the day the independent MP was due to announce which party he was going to support, the PM announced the addition of a new MP to parliament, apparently to meet a quota of women in parliament, bringing the number of government MPs to 26.
The Independent then gave his backing to the opposition party, bringing the totals to a 26/26 deadlock, which ironically means that the government’s decision to appoint a woman to meet the 10% quota has kept the country from have his very first wife as Prime Minister.