Tofilau Eti Alesana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tofilau Eti Alesana
Prime Minister of Samoa
In office
31 December 1982 – 30 December 1985
Preceded by Tufuga Efi
Succeeded by Va'ai Kolone
Prime Minister of Samoa
In office
8 April 1988 – 23 November 1998
Preceded by Va'ai Kolone
Succeeded by Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi
Personal details
Born (1924-06-04)4 June 1924
Died 19 March 1999(1999-03-19) (aged 74)
Political party HRPP
Spouse(s) Pitolua Alesana

Tofilau Eti Alesana, AC, born Aualamalefalelima Alesana, (4 June 1924 – 19 March 1999) was a Samoan politician. He was born in Vaitogi, Tutuila, American Samoa to a Samoan upper-class parents, Reverend James Alesana Fai'ivae and Vaoita Iosefa Mala'itai. At the age of 24, he became a clan chief.[1]


In 1957 he was elected to the legislative council, and in 1958 he became health minister. He helped draft the constitution for the newly independent state of Western Samoa. Alesana helped form the Human Rights Protection Party which won power in 1982. Alesana served as prime minister for the first time from 1982 until 1985 when he was deposed by Parliament with the help of disgruntled members of his own party. He regained control of the party in 1988 and became prime minister. Alesana led the party to almost complete control of the country, with more than a 2/3 majority in the Parliament. In 1997 Alesana's government changed the country's name from Western Samoa to Samoa.[citation needed]

Alesana began to suffer from health problems in the 1990s, finally resigning as Prime Minister in November 1998 but remained a member of Cabinet as Minister Without Portfolio until his death in the capital, Apia. His party still holds power. Alesana was also foreign minister of Samoa from 1984 to 1985 and from 1988 to 1998.[citation needed]

Tofilau is the first of a prominent political family in both Samoas. He is the uncle of former Governor of American Samoa, Tauese Pita Alesana as well as the former U.S. Congressional Representative Fofo Sunia, the present Lt.Governor of American Samoa, Faoa Aitofele Sunia and present Congressional representative, Eni Hunkin also of American Samoa.[citation needed] His wife was Pitolua Alesana.

Alesana's son, Tautua Samoa Party President Va'aelua Eti Alesana, died in 2011.[2]


On 6 July 1994, he was appointed an honorary Companion of the Order of Australia, for "eminent service to Australian/Western Samoan relations and to South Pacific multilateral relations".[3]


  1. ^ Fraser, Helen. (25 March 1999). "Pacific reformer and conciliator." The Australian. p. 016.
  2. ^ "Tautua Samoa president dies". Radio New Zealand International. 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
  3. ^ It's an Honour: AC

External links[edit]