Government Politics of Samoa
Last elections: March 2016
Next elections: 2021
Head of state: Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi (2007–)
Head of government: Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi
Ruling party: Human Rights Protection Party
In the general election in March 2001, the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) – with 24 seats – won more seats than any other party, but was nonetheless challenged by the combined strength of the United Independents (11 seats) and Samoa National Development Party (SNDP; 13). On the resumption of parliament, however, HRPP leader Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi was re-elected prime minister and enough independents joined the HRPP to give it an absolute majority.
The general election in March 2006 saw a return to power of the HRPP, increasing its number of seats to 33 with gains from both Samoa Democratic United Party (formerly SNDP, with ten seats) and independents (six).
Malietoa Tanumafili II, head of state since independence in January 1962, died in May 2007 aged 94. According to the constitution, in June 2007 the Fono elected Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi as his successor for a five-year term.
In the March 2011 general election the HRPP and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi were returned with an increased majority. The HRPP and independents supporting the HRPP together secured 36 seats. The opposition Tautua Samoa Party won 13 seats.
In July 2012 the Fono re-elected Tupua unopposed for a second five-year term as head of state.
In the March 2016 general election the HRPP increased their majority yet again, securing 35 of the 49 seats. The TSP won 2 seats, while independents took the 13 remaining seats.