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Samoa Politics

State and politics

According to the 1962 Constitution, Samoa is a constitutional monarchy. Malietoa Tanumafili II is the lifetime governor unless he is dismissed by Parliament, Fono. He can dissolve this assembly, whose 49 members are elected every five years in general suffrage, but only Mataians - elected clan leaders - are eligible, with the exception of two non-Samoan members. The head of state appoints the prime minister on Fono's proposal.

Political System of Samoa

Prime Minister (since 1988) Tofilau Eti Alesana heads the Human Rights Protection Party, which in the April 1996 elections occupied 28 seats. The opposition party Samoan National Development Party received 14 seats, and independent candidates 7 seats. Tofilau Eti Alesana was re-elected prime minister, thus becoming the political leader in the Pacific who sat at the top of this post.

Samoa is an alliance-free state but is closely linked to New Zealand. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how WSM can stand for Samoa.

Judiciary

The legal system in Samoa consists mainly of imported English law, before independence introduced New Zealand law and local custom regarding right to land. Supreme courts are the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. A special court, the Land and Titles Court, is examining questions about the right to land.

The death penalty was abolished for all crimes in 2004, but was considered abolished already when the country became independent in 1962.

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