Samoa 1998

Samoa Capital

Yearbook 1998

Samoa. In November, Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana resigned for health reasons after 16 years in power. According to Countryaah, the capital of Samoa is Apia. Deputy Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi was elected new head of government. The government is formed by the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP).

  • Abbreviationfinder: What does ASM stand for in geography? Here, this 3 letter acronym refers to the country of Samoa.

Samoa Capital

History. – The constitutional structure of the Western Samoa, in the first thirty years of the state’s life, guaranteed control of the political situation by the heads of the various family clans (elected by their own community, they hold the title of Matai). Until the electoral reform of 1990, of the 47 deputies of the Fono, the single-chamber Parliament, 45 were in fact elected by the Matai alone, while the other two, representing the population of European origin, were elected by universal suffrage. Thus, in an institutional and social framework strongly characterized by the tribal tradition, two authoritative exponents of the Samoan community were awarded the title of Head of State for life in the aftermath of independence. Prime Minister until the political elections of 1970 was Fiame Mata’afa Mulinu’u. He was succeeded by Tupua Tamasese Lealofi, replaced after the 1973 elections again by Mata’afa (who remained in office until his death in May 1975). It was then again the turn of Tamasese, who however lost the 1976 elections in favor of his cousin Tupuola Taisi Efi.

In 1979 a political party was formed for the first time in the country’s political history which, as an expression of the opposition, took on the name of Party for the Protection of Human Rights. Presented at the political consultations of February 1982, it won the parliamentary majority (24 seats out of 47). After almost a year of political instability – which was accompanied by several government crises -, in December 1982 the new leader became prime ministerof the Party for the Protection of Human Rights, Tofilau Eti Alesana (the former party secretary, Va’ai Kolone, had been forced to resign after just six months in government, on charges of tampering with the election results). The elections of February 1985 saw a further strengthening of the Party for the Protection of Human Rights (which obtained 31 seats out of 47) against a new grouping, the Christian Democratic Party (which later became the National Development Party of Samoa), led by Tupuola Efi (to which the remaining 16 seats went). But in December the refusal by the Parliament to approve the budget presented by the government led to the formation of a new coalition cabinet headed by Va’ai Kolone. The situation did not clear up even after the elections in February 1988, which however saw the return to the government of Tofilau Eti – once again elected prime minister – and his party.

The traditional political-social framework, based on the weight and influence of the Matai, was in the meantime going through a serious crisis, due in the first place to the enlargement to all the candidates for the Phono of the title of Matai (previously limited only to the elected leaders of the locals). The attempt by the government of Tofilau Eti (January 1990) to strengthen the authority of the Matai through new legislative measures, also in order to obtain their support in the planned elections of 1991, clashed with the opposition, while it was called a popular referendum which – having acknowledged the crumbling of the authority of the Matai – asked for the introduction of universal suffrage for all seats of the Phono. Although narrowly, the proposal won a majority in the referendum (October 1990), and in December the new electoral law was approved by Parliament.

The first elections by universal suffrage (April 1991), marked by episodes of corruption and illegality (in relation to which the Supreme Court intervened to review the disputed data), finally recorded the victory of the Party for the protection of human rights (30 seats against 16 of the Progress Party) and the re-election of Tofilau Eti as prime minister. In November 1991, Parliament approved a new law extending the term of the legislature to five years and increasing the number of seats in the Fono (from 47 to 49: the two new seats were won by the Party for the Protection of Human Rights). In March 1993 a new party was born under the name of the Democratic Party of Samoa, led by Tagiloa Pita.