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Samoa Electoral Commissioner's action 'unconstitutional' says FAST

Samoa Independent MP, Tuala Tevaga Iosefo Ponifasio
Source: RNZ Pacific

Apia, SAMOA — The FAST party in Samoa hopes its call for the appointment of an additional woman MP to parliament to be declared null and void would be resolved immediately.

The Electoral Commissioner announced earlier that Ali'imalemanu Moti Momoemausu Alofa Tuuau would become the 52nd MP to ensure that a minimum of 10 percent of seats in the parliament are held by women.

In the poll 12 days ago, five women were elected and FAST party leader, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, said they considered that that satisfied the constitutional requirement, because the document specifies five seats for women.

Samoan Independent MP, Tuala Tevaga Iosefo Ponifasio has confirmed he will join the Faatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party following more than a week of post-election deliberations.

The Samoa Observer reports the decision comes hours after the paper revealed that as part of his negotiations with both parties, Tuala had asked HRPP leader Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi to stand down, as a condition of the party securing his vote.

Tuala's announcement, and creation of an additional parliamentary seat leaves Parliament in a 26-26 deadlock.

Samoa Observer is reporting today that this may trigger a re-election.

Story will be updated as more information becomes available.