Samoa

Legislative Assembly

Election results

Data on parliamentary elections, including the background, candidates, voter turnout, results and the formation of the new legislature. By default the latest election results are displayed. Select a date to view results from previous elections

Background

Election date(s) The date when elections started and ended for directly or indirectly elected parliaments/chambers. The date of appointments for appointed parliaments/chambers.
09.04.2021
Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature Date at which the previous legislature (elected at the previous elections) was dissolved.
03.03.2021
Timing of election Timing of election: Upon normal expiry; Early elections; Delayed elections
Upon normal expiry
Expected date of next elections The expected date at which the next elections should take place, based on law or practice.
31.03.2026
Number of seats at stake Number of seats contested at the elections. Where the parliament/chamber is fully renewed, this number is usually identical to the statutory number of members. Where the parliament/chamber is partially renewed or appointed, the number of seats at stake is usually less than the total number of members.
51
Scope of elections Scope of elections: Full renewal; Partial renewal.
Full renewal

Candidates

Total number of candidates Total number of people who registered as candidates for election. Does not include people who stood as candidates to become "substitute members".
189
Number of male candidates Number of male candidates
168
Number of female candidates Number of female candidates
21
Percentage of women candidates The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of women candidates by the total number of candidates.
11.11%
Number of parties contesting the election This field may include either the number of parties contesting the election, or the number of coalitions/electoral alliance.
5

Results

About the election Short description of the context and results of the election.
Inconclusive elections in April 2021 triggered unprecedented political turmoil in Samoa, which is home to 220,000 people. They ultimately resulted in the first powershift since 1982 and the first woman prime minister of the country took office in July after lengthy court battles.

In the 51-member legislature (see note 1), the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP, led by long-serving Prime Minister Susuga Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, see note 2) initially won 25 seats. At first, 24 seats went to the party Faatuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST, formed in June 2020 by former Deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa who defected from HRPP). Independent candidates won the two remaining seats. Both independent members-elect subsequently joined FAST, giving it a one-seat majority. Five women were elected (9.8 per cent of members).

On 21 April, the electoral commission announced one seat would be added to respect the 10 per cent quota for women in the new legislature. The additional seat was granted to HRPP, which led to a tie between the two parties in the 52-member legislature. The new chamber would have included six women. FAST contested the electoral commission’s decision and filed a court case. A total of 28 electoral petitions and counter-petitions were filed. On 4 May, Head of State Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II called snap elections for 21 May, citing a deadlock. FAST rejected the call for snap elections and filed a new case in court.

On 17 May, the Supreme Court invalidated the additional seat allotted to HRPP, thereby restoring FAST’s one-seat majority. It also invalidated the snap elections, stating that "There is no lawful basis for the Head of State calling for a new election". The Court ordered the newly elected parliament to convene by 24 May (within 45 days of the elections as required by the Constitution).

On 21 May, the Head of State called the first session for 24 May. However, the following day, he proclaimed that parliament would be suspended until further notice. On 23 May, Speaker Leaupepe Taimaaiono Toleafoa Faafisi then cancelled the first session "until a further proclamation has been made by the Head of State". On the same day, the Supreme Court overturned the Head of State’s suspension of parliament, paving the way for the first session to be held on 24 May.

However, on 24 May, access to the parliament building was blocked. Nevertheless, the leader of FAST, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, held a ceremony to swear in the parliamentarians-elect from the FAST party in a tent outside the locked parliament. FAST then announced that Ms. Mata’afa was the new prime minister. Mr. Papalii Li’o Ta’eu Masipa’u (FAST) was sworn in by this group as the new Speaker. The government issued a press release stating “the swearing-in ceremony by FAST was unlawful and unconstitutional” and filed a court case.

On 2 June, the Court of Appeal ruled that at least six women were needed to satisfy the minimum 10 per cent requirement. However, it also declared void the additional seat that the electoral commission had allotted to an HRPP woman candidate. The Court stated that, if required, an additional seat would need to be allotted after the results of any by-elections that might arise from the election petitions and counter-petitions.

On 4 June, caretaker Prime Minister Malielegaoi and Prime Minister elect Mata’afa started talks to resolve the political crisis. However, they reached an impasse on 8 June after only two rounds of talks. The caretaker prime minister argued parliament would not be able to convene until all election petitions had been heard before the Supreme Court, and the results of any by-elections confirmed.

On 28 June, the Supreme Court ruled that the swearing in of the FAST parliamentarians-elect on 24 May had been unlawful. However, it also ruled that parliament must sit within seven days. On 4 July (the eve of the Supreme Court deadline for parliament to sit), the Head of State announced that parliament would convene on 2 August. He added that only the Head of State had the legal powers and constitutional authority to appoint a time and place for the meeting of the Legislative Assembly under article 52 of the Constitution, although the same article also stipulates that parliament is to convene within 45 days of a general election. Meanwhile, one woman member-elect resigned and election petitions were filed against two others. The Head of State said the convening of parliament without the sixth woman member would be unconstitutional.

On 23 July, the Court of Appeal ruled that FAST was the official winner of the 2021 elections. It also ruled the ad hoc swearing-in ceremony of FAST MPs held on 24 May had been legitimate, paving the way for Ms. Mata’afa to become the first woman prime minister of the country. On 27 July, the new Prime Minister took office. On the same day, the Clerk handed over keys of parliament building (which had been locked since 24 May) to the new Speaker.

Note 1:
On 29 January 2019, parliament passed a series of amendments to the Electoral Act. The new law stipulates that the Legislative Assembly will comprise 51 members elected from single-member constituencies.
The outgoing 49-member parliament comprised 47 members elected from "territorial constituencies" reserved for ethnic Samoans, 2 members elected from seats open to those from other communities, and 1 member under the Constitution Amendment Act 2013 which stipulates a 10 per cent quota for women.
The Constitution Amendment Act (No. 3) 2019 retained the 10 per cent quota. Therefore, the Legislative Assembly may comprise up to 56 members in cases where no women are elected.

Note 2:
HRPP has been in power since 1982. Mr. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has been prime minister since 1998.
Number of parties winning seats The number of parties which won parliamentary representation in the given election.
2
Percentage of parties winning seats The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of parties which won parliamentary representation by the number of parties contesting the election.
40%
Percentage of seats won by largest party or coalition The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of seats won by the largest party by the number of seats at stake in the election.
50.98%
Alternation of power after elections The results of the elections caused a change in the government. "Not applicable" to countries using the presidential system when parliamentary and presidential elections are held separately, to countries in political transition or where there is no party system.
Yes
Number of parties in government The government may be formed by one or more political parties
1
Names of parties in government The government may be formed by one or more political parties
Faatuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST)
Parties or coalitions winning seats
Political groups winning seats breakdown
Political group Total
Faatuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) 26
Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) 18
Members elected, by sex
Number of men elected
40
Number of women elected
4
Percentage of women elected The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of women elected in the election and the number of seats at stake at the election.
7.84%
Note on the Distribution of seats according to sex
The data on Samoa was excluded from Monthly ranking of women in national parliaments for May and June 2021, pending the election results. They were retrospectively updated in August.
By 27 July, the elections of 44 members, including four women, had been confirmed: 26 from FAST (including three women) and 18 from HRPP (including one woman). However, only the 26 FAST members had been sworn in as at 19 August. Seven other seats remained vacant, pending by-elections triggered by election petitions.
Other notes
There are seven vacant seats.
Women Directly Elected
4

New legislature

Total number of men after the election The total number of male parliamentarians in this parliament/chamber following the election or renewal, regardless of their modes of designation.
40
Total number of women after the election The total number of female parliamentarians in this parliament/chamber following the election or renewal, regardless of their modes of designation.
4
Date of the first session The date when the newly elected parliament/chamber was convened for the first time. It may be different from the date when members were sworn in.
24.05.2021
First Speaker of the new legislature
First Speaker of the new legislature First name of the Speaker of the new legislature following the election or renewal.
Papali’iu Li’o Oloipola Taeu Masipa (Male)
Political party
Faatuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST)
Date of election
24.05.2021