Samoa Supreme Court Overules Suspension Opening of Parliament but Former Speaker Declares Postponement.

In what could lead to constitutional uncertainty in Samoa, more developments have taken place in the last 24 hours after the Head of State proclaimed that he was suspending his initial proclamation for the opening of the 17th Parliament to take place on Mon 24th May.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Satiu Simativa Perese, overruled the proclamation. According to reports in the Samoa Global News, the court declared the original proclamation made on Friday 21 May was lawful while any conflicting declarations are not aligned with the constitution and go against recent judgements of the court.

However in the last few hours the Office of the Speaker of the caretaker government issued a public notice advising that the official swearing in set for tomorrow would be postponed until a further proclamation is made by the Head of State. Despite retiring from Parliament at the end of the last term of government, Leaupepe Taimaaiono Toleafoa Faafisi claimed as the continuing speaker of the Legislative Assembly the public notice was issued in compliance with the proclamation made on Saturday.

Earlier today more drama appears to have taken place when the Attorney General Savalenoa Mareva Betham-Annandale issued a press release to clarify why she today¬†walked out of what appeared to be a hearing at the Supreme Court in Mulinu’u.

Savalenoa states she objected to being served on a Sunday, claiming it breached Rule 26 of the Civil Procedure (Supreme Court) Rules 1980. She also claimed she had not been briefed on the nature of the meeting and sought clarity whether it was a meeting or a hearing. She says she walked out when the Chief Justice invited Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu, the lead solicitor for the FAST party (set to become the new government), to speak to her application this morning.

Reaction on social media appears to be largely in favour of resolving these issues in order for Samoa to move forward. It is still not clear what will happen tomorrow.