Legislative Assembly of Samoa

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For the General Fono of Tokelau, see Parliament of Tokelau. For the Fono or Legislature of American Samoa, see American Samoa Fono. For the village in Togo, see Fono, Togo. For the band, see Fono (band).
Legislative Assembly of Samoa
Fono
Coat of arms of Samoa.svg
Type
Type
Seats 49 members
Elections
single-seat constituency
Meeting place
Apia
Website
www.parliament.gov.ws
Coat of arms of Samoa.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Samoa

The Legislative Assembly is the Parliament of Samoa based in the capital Apia where the country's central administration is situated.

In the Samoan language, the Legislative Assembly of Samoa is sometimes referred to as the Samoan Fono while the government of the country is referred to as the Malo.

The word fono is a Samoan and Polynesian term for councils or meetings great and small and applies to national assemblies and legislatures, as well as local village councils.

The modern government of Samoa exists on a national level alongside the country's fa'amatai indigenous chiefly system of governance and social organisation.[1]

History[edit]

Members of the First Legislative Assembly of Samoa under New Zealand administration, circa 1921.

The Samoan Fono is descended from the Western Samoa Legislative Assembly established under New Zealand rule in the early 1900s. On the country's political independence in 1962, the 5th Legislative Assembly became the 1st Samoan Parliament.[2]

Members of Parliament[edit]

The Samoan Fono has 49 Members of Parliament. 47 members are matai (traditional heads of families), elected in six two-seat and 35 single-seat constituencies. The other 2 Members are elected by, and represent, individual voters, i.e. "Samoan citizens descended from non-Samoans".[3]

Members of Parliament in Samoa are directly elected by universal suffrage, and serve a five-year term.

Head of State[edit]

The Head of State or O le Ao o le Malo is elected for a five-year term by the Fono.

Elections[edit]

Elections are held under a simple plurality system. Samoan electors are divided into six two-seat and 35 single-seat constituencies. In addition, two seats are reserved for "individual voters", non-indigenous citizens who may not hold a chiefly title or any customary interest in Samoan land.

Electors must be Samoan citizens and aged over 21.[4] Candidates must be qualified as electors, and in addition those for territorial seats must hold a matai title.[5]

Last election results[edit]

e • d Summary of the 31 March 2006 Samoa Fono election results
Parties Seats
Human Rights Protection Party 35
Samoan Democratic United Party 10
Independents 4
Samoa Party 0
Samoa Progressive Political Party 0
The Christian Party 0
Total 49
Source: Fono web site. The numbers for HRPP include five independents who joined HRPP after the election. Adam Carr, Zee and Pacific Magazine give various different results. According to Adam Carr because in double-member seats voters cast two votes, it is not possible to give national aggregate votes by party.

Legislative Procedures[edit]

Other functions[edit]

The Fono is responsible for electing the O le Ao o le Malo, the Samoan head of state.

Terms of the Fono[edit]

The Fono is currently in its 14th term.

Term Elected in Government
1st Legislative Assembly 1948 election No parties
2nd Legislative Assembly 1951 election No parties
3rd Legislative Assembly 1954 election No parties
4th Legislative Assembly 1957 election No parties
5th Legislative Assembly / 1st Parliament 1961 election No parties
2nd Parliament 1964 election No parties
3rd Parliament 1967 election No parties
4th Parliament 1970 election No parties
5th Parliament 1973 election No parties
6th Parliament 1976 election No parties
7th Parliament 1979 election No parties
8th Parliament 1982 election Human Rights Protection Party
9th Parliament 1985 election Human Rights Protection Party / Christian Democratic Party (Samoa)
10th Parliament 1988 election Human Rights Protection Party
11th Parliament 1991 election Human Rights Protection Party
12th Parliament 1996 election Human Rights Protection Party
13th Parliament 2001 election Human Rights Protection Party
14th Parliament 2006 election Human Rights Protection Party
15th Parliament 2011 election Human Rights Protection Party

Building[edit]

Main article: Architecture of Samoa

The Fono is housed in a bee-hive shaped building based on the traditional Samoan fale.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fana'afi Le Tagaloa, Aiono (1986). Western Samoa the Sacred Covenant. Land rights of Pacific women (University of the South Pacific;Institute of Pacific Studies). p. 103. ISBN 982-02-0012-1. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Parliament of Samoa: general information[dead link]
  3. ^ "Samoa PM accused of racism over anti-Chinese remark". Radio New Zealand International. 21 January 2005. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Electoral Act 1963, s16[dead link]
  5. ^ Electoral Act 1963, s5[dead link]

External links[edit]