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Court clears way for Samoa to get its first woman leader – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-05-17 03:49:27 –

Wellington, New Zealand (AP) — Samoa appeared ready to win the first female leader after the country’s Supreme Court …

Wellington, New Zealand (AP) — Samoa appeared ready to win the first female leader after the country’s Supreme Court revived the results of last month’s Knife Edge elections on Monday.

Two decisions by the Supreme Court paved the way for Fia Menaomi Mata Afa to become Prime Minister of the Small Island Developing States.

Her climb represents an important milestone not only for Samoa, but also for the South Pacific region, where there are few female leaders. Like many of its neighbors, Samoa tends to be conservative, strong, Christian, and deeply traditional.

Born in 1957, Fiamme, a defender of women’s equality, broke new ground during the campaign by strongly criticizing the incumbent Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupes Marielegaoi, who had been in power for 22 years. ..

The court’s decision seemed to end what most people saw as an attempt by Tuira Epa to attach to power. Fiamme represented him before they made a bitter split.

“Glory to our father!” Fiame’s FAST Party wrote on Facebook after a court decision. “It’s time to get to work.”

The April elections initially ended with a 25-25 tie between the FAST and Tuilaepa HRP parties, with one independent candidate.

However, the Election Commission then appointed another HRP candidate, perhaps to comply with gender assignments. On the other hand, the independent candidate chose to go with Fiamme, becoming 26-26.

The head of state then intervened to announce a new election to break the tie. These elections in a country of 200,000 were to take place later this week.

The Fiamme party has appealed and the Supreme Court has ruled against both the final appointed candidate and plans for a new election, returning the FAST party to a majority of 26-25.

Dozens of her supporters gathered outside the courtroom to sing and celebrate after the decision.

Fiamme tells Facebook that people continue to be confused about what happened, but the current administration is legal and illegal to “prevent us from occupying legitimate seats in Congress and form a government.” He wrote that he believed he used all means of both.

A court ruling paved the way for Fiamme to lead Samoa, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it felt like an important moment.

“Looking at the historic decisions made when the office was held by women, it certainly makes sense,” Ardern said.

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