Parliamentary Chamber: Fono - Legislative Assembly


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  Fono - Legislative Assembly

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  2 March 2001

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.

Background and outcome of elections:

  Samoans went to the polls on 2 March 2001 to elect the 49 new members of Parliament. According to the Registrar of Electors and Voters, some 93,212 voters were registered to cast ballots.

The two main parties in the race were the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP), led by the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailel Malielegaoi, (who had taken over as Prime Minister following the resignation of former PM Tofilau Eti Alesana in 1998) and the Samoa National Development Party (SNDP). Two new parties, the Samoa United People Party (SUPP) and the Samoa All People (SAP) made up the four parties that fielded candidates.

The SNDP had fought a campaign based on claims of corruption among HRPP members. The opposition charged the ruling party with the illegal sale of Samoan passports to Chinese and Taiwanese nationals, a scandal first uncovered in 1997, and with the mismanagement of State-owned Polynesian Airlines, the national carrier.

The electoral campaign was also marked by strong and widely publicised criticisms by the Opposition of the Electoral Amendment Act that came into force on 6 July 2000 providing for the increase in the residency requirement from 12 months to 3 years to be elegible to vote or stand for election.

Results showed that the ruling HRPP had been returned to office but with less than half of the seats in the Legislative Assembly. This party, which has ruled Samoa for all but two of the past 19 years and had won 36 parliamentary seats in 1996, obtained 23 of the 49 seats in parliament, against 13 for the SNDP, 12 for independents and 1 for the SUPP.

The outgoing Prime Minister secured the support of enough independent parliamentarians to continue in power and on 13 March 2001 was reappointed by the Head of State as Prime Minister. On 15 March 2001, the Parliament held its first sitting and re-elected Mr Toleafoa Faafisi to a second term as Speaker.

Round no 1 (2 March 2001): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 93 213
Voters 76 811 (82.4%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 360
Valid votes 76 451

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) 55 34 459 45.07
Samoan National Development Party (SNDP) 33 17 966 23.5
Samoa United People Party (SUPP) 5 1 898 2.48
Independents 60 22 368 29.26

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) 23
Samoan National Development Party (SNDP) 13
Samoa United People Party (SUPP) 1
Independents 12

  Five Parliamentarians who are actually HRPP members but ran in the elections as independents because of party policies returned to HRPP before swearing in. Parliamentarians sworn in and recorded on 15 March: HRPP 28, SNDP 13, Independents 8 (SUPP's one member was counted as an Independent under parliament Standing Order).

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 46
Women: 3
Percent of women: 6.12

Distribution of seats according to age:  
31 to 40 years 1
41 to 50 years 10
51 to 60 years 26
61 to 70 years 10
Over 70 years 2

Distribution of seats according to profession:

Civil servants (incl. former) 18
Self-employed 18
Business/Trade/Industry 12
Private sector employees 1

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Copyright 2001 Inter-Parliamentary Union