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The woman who unseated Samoa’s prime minister of 20 years

By Andreas Illmer Samoa is set to get its first female prime minister, marking the end of unprecedented political drama in the small Pacific island nation of 200,000 people. On Monday, the Supreme Court finally validated Fiame Naomi Mata'afa's shock April election win, ending weeks of political stalemate and calling off a re-run. She unseated the world's second-longest serving prime minister...

Celebration as first travel bubble flight lands in Rarotonga

There were tears, singing and applause as the first travel-bubble flight from New Zealand landed in Rarotonga on Tuesday. Passengers on board Air New Zealand flight NZ940 didn’t let the bad weather in the Cook Islands deter their excitement as they broke into applause when the pilot announced the arrival on the tarmac. It was the first time visitors were allowed...

Kiribati crew confirmed with Covid-19

au has confirmed that Covid-19 has not arrived on land in Kiribati despite the first case being confirmed from an I-Kiribati crew who just arrived from Papua New Guinea. In his address to the nation on Radio Kiribati, President Maamau said the man is being isolated aboard a reefer ship at the Betio port and his condition is being strictly...

Samoa Head of State agrees to convene Parliament

Samoa Head of State, Tuimalealiifano Sualauvi Va’aletoa II, has agreed to convene Parliament after meeting with the Fa’atuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party today. The Chairman and founder of FAST, La’auli Leuatea Schmidt, confirmed the positive news from the Head of State’s residence late this afternoon. In an interview with the Samoa Observer La’auli confirmed a second meeting with...

Bougainville President Toroama outlines ABG position on independence

The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) President Ishmael Toroama said Bougainville must have its independence within the next four years, through the election of members to the parliament of the independent state of Bougainville by June 2025. President Toroama made this statement as he outlined the official position of the ABG as Bougainville begins the first Post Referendum Consultations with the...

Fiji records four new covid-19 cases, Health Ministry awaits 11, 000 swab tests

Fiji has reported four new cases of COVID-19, and all cases are close contacts of existing cases from the Nadali cluster. These cases were confirmed after running more than 2500 lab tests Monday. Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary Dr James Fong said because of a steadily rising number of cases, they were concerned that Nadali – located just...

Looking forward to lead Samoa: FAST leader Fiame Mata’afa

Fiame Naomi Mata’afa described Monday as an “incredible day” and she looked forward to leading Samoa through challenging times, in a statement that all but claimed victory following two decisive Supreme Court victories. Mata'afa’s comments came late on Monday after the Faatuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party successfully challenged two attempts to interfere with the results of a...

Human Rights Protection Party to appeal bombshell ruling: Samoa caretaker PM

Samoa’s caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and leader of the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) pulled a few surprises out of his hat when he announced plans to appeal a ruling delivered by the Supreme Court on Monday. Tuilaepa made the announcement when he appeared live on the Government of Samoa Facebook page Monday evening. Thousands of viewers tuned in...

Former Vanuatu PM Salwai’s appeal dismissed

Vanuatu Appeal Court has dismissed the appeal of former Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai. In handing down the verdict Friday, the judges said in their assessment, the sentence was thorough and can be regarded as lenient. “For the various reasons that we have outlined, this was a very serious act of perjury by the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, directed to the Supreme...

Samoa caretaker PM promoting lawlessness: Fiame Mata’afa

Samoa caretaker PM promoting lawlessness: Fiame Mata’afa Lotofaga Member-elect Fiame Naomi Mataafa has accused Samoa caretaker Prime Minister of “promoting lawlessness” by saying a 21 May election will go ahead despite it legally still being an open question being argued in court. The Faatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party leader said statements by caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele...

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