Samoa: Government

Independent State of Samoa Flag
Coat of Arms of Independent State of Samoa

Key Figures

Chief of State: Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi

Head of Government: Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi

Overview

Government Name: Independent State of Samoa

Constitution: Adopted: 1960; Formally came into play when the independence from New Zealand was established in 1962. It is based upon parliamentary democracy, a British pattern, but was modified in order to better fit the customs of the Samoan people. The document provides for the separation of powers and does not mention specific provisions on the protection of intellectual property rights, however, Article 14 of Part II states that "No property shall be taken possession of compulsorily, and no right over or interest in any property shall be acquired compulsorily".

Government Type: Parliamentary Democracy

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide, http://www.electionguide.org/
Executive

The O le Ao o Malo (president) is a ceremonial role, while the prime minister holds actual power as head of government.

O le Ao o Malo is elected by Fono and prime minister is appointed by the president with the approval of the parliament.

5 years

Judicial

Supreme Court is the highest court. The Court of Appeal has a limited jurisdiction to hear only those cases referred to it by the Supreme Court.

Appointed by head of state.

Mandatory retirement age of of 68

Legislative

Fono acts as the main legislative power and also elects the O le Ao o Malo.

Thirty-five members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies and 14 members are elected by plurality vote in multi-member constituencies.

5 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: Samoa shares a close and friendly relationship with traditional partner Australia through various regional organizations and initiatives. Australia is also the largest donor to Samoa and has a bilateral aid (AusAid) program in the country. Samoa has welcomed various high-level Australian officials to Samoa, including the Australian Foreign Minister, in recent years. Samoa has diplomatic missions in New Zealand, Australia, the P.R.C. Japan, Brussels, and UN New York, with consulates in Fiji and American Samoa. There are four diplomatic missions in Samoa: New Zealand, Australia, the P.R.C., and the U.S., with seven international organizations. Samoa is a member of the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Nations and a strong advocate of the Pacific Commission and Pacific Islands Forum.

Regional Trade Blocs: No Regional Trade Blocs.

Treaties: No multilateral military treaties


International Organization Participation  Source: CIA World Factbook

ACP ADB AOSIS C ESCAP FAO
G-77 IBRD ICAO ICRM IDA IFAD
IFC IFRCS ILO IMF IMO Interpol
IOC IPU ITU ITUC MIGA OPCW
PIF Sparteca SPC UN UNCTAD UNESCO
UNIDO UPU WCO WHO WIPO WMO
WTO

Note: Click table to see details


Environmental Agreements  Source: CIA World Factbook

Biodiversity Climate Change Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol Desertification Hazardous Wastes Law of the Sea
Ozone Layer Protection Ship Pollution Wetlands

Note: Click table to see details


Tax Authority: Information not available

Tax Name: Information not available


Sources:

CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.

Glossary