Talk:O le Ao o le Malo

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First comment[edit]

It is desperately pretentious to entitle this article with the name of the office in a foreign language, especially when the words involved are so alien to general English usage. We do not refer to the Russian or German heads of state in Russian or German, and we should not use an obscure term in this case either.

Deipnosophista 12:02, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

The term is not uncommonly used in English-language documents relating to Samoa (eg the constitution of Samoa, which specifically states that the post is "to be known as O le Ao o le Malo" despite the fact that the constitution is in English). The situation isn't comparable to the Russian or German heads of state — English speakers virtually never talk about "the Bundespräsident" or "the Президент", but they do talk about "o le Ao o le Malo". True, the low number of people who talk about the office under any title means that the term isn't widely known, but among those who do talk about the office in English, using the Samoan term is not strange. Whether it is common enough to justify its use rather than the English translation (which, while inexact, seems to be widely accepted), though, I don't know. -- Vardion 19:08, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
(Belated comment) "Pretentious" would be a fair comment, except that my impression is that the title doesn't exactly equate to either Monarch or President, but is a mixture of both. So it seems fair enough to have a page describing the term. And the article on Samoa also uses the term Head of State, with a link to here for explanation, so (for my money) I think it's OK in this case. Moonraker12 (talk) 15:31, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

The O le Ao o le Malo is a ceremonial president[edit]

I wrote to the Samoan government's website at and the response was that it was a ceremonial presidency.

date Jul 15, 2007 2:12 AM
subject O le Ao o le Malo
To whomever this letter concerns,
I write to you as someone who is avidly into geopolitics and as an amateur contributor to the internet encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Within the community, there is a question as to whether your Head of State should be seen as an elective monarch or as a ceremonial president, which would simultaneously answer as to whether the Independent State of Samoa should be considered a parliamentary monarchy or a parliamentary democracy.
I would graciously appreciate if this could be answered quickly, as I will by cut off from internet access in two weeks and would like to resolve the conflict within the Wikipedia Community as soon as possible.
Many Thanks,
Benjamin (last name omitted)


date Jul 17, 2007 8:08 PM
subject Re: O le Ao o le Malo
Talofa Benjamin,
Thank you for your enquiry. The Independent State of Samoa is a representative government. Our Head of State is a ceremonial president. Being free from politics, any law will not become law unless assented to by the Head of State.
Deborah Mauinatu
Office of the Government Press Secretariat

Therequiembellishere 05:25, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

See Talk:Samoa for further information on this. --CloudSurfer 01:52, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

I would contend the assertion that Samoa was ever a monarchy, never mind before the death of the Malietoa.JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 12:03, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

The head of state of the UAE is also called "president", should we consider it a republic, as well, in that case? --B.Lameira (talk) 16:41, 26 September 2017 (UTC)


A list of the names of the people who have held the office, or a link to such a list, would certainly be the minimal requirements for GA. John Carter (talk) 19:16, 4 January 2008 (UTC)


I would question the statement that 'Samoa' can be considered a republic' merely because the Head of State is how elected every five years,

i.There are plenty of examples of Heads of State of republics who have held that position for life, as the late Malietoa did, there have been plenty of Presidents who have been declared 'President for Life', The fact that this is not so for his successors is irrelevant: there has been no constitutional amendment declaring Samoa to be a republic, just that the provisions of the constitution allowed the first two holders of the post of Head of State to hold their offices for life. That does not make Samoa automatically a republic, just as the fact they held their position for life did not necessarily make them monarchs.

ii. Secondly there are plenty of examples of monarchies where the monarch is elected and holds that position for a limited time: the Yang-di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia is a monarch, is styled 'his majesty' and yet is elected every five years, and there are plenty of historical examples as well: the Holy Roman Empire and Poland before 1795 for example were both monarchies where the monarch was elected. (See article: Elective Monarchy.)

iii.The form of address of the Head of State is 'His Highness', rather than 'His/Her Excellency', as the Presidents of republics are always addressed in international diplomacy. The only other Heads of State who are also styled as 'Highness' are the Princes of Monaco and Liechtenstein, and the Hakims of Qatar, Kuwait and the rulers of the individual United Arab Emirates, all of whom are monarchs.

iv.Why is there so much insistence on Samoa being defined as a republic or a monarchy? The constitution does not describe it as either, are more to the point the attributes of the Head of State of Samoa show aspects of both. So surely, we should not bother describing it as either? An e-mail from some person in an office in some government department in Samoa is certainly not sufficient to describe it as a republic, or as any kind of source for that matter.JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 12:28, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

This issue has been thrashed out a number of times. Consensus was that Samoa is a parliamentary republic - see Talk:Samoa for more. --LJ Holden 20:23, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

I would contend the assertion that Samoa was ever a monarchy, never mind before the death of the Malietoa.JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 12:04, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

I think the same about this, and this is relevant to parliamentary republic article, because it has a table with the date of adoption. --B.Lameira (talk) 21:37, 10 September 2016 (UTC)