Women exceed parliamentary quota in Samoa

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13th April, 2021

[By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia – Ah Tong, 10/04/2021] A statutory mandate ensuring a 10 per cent quota for women in Parliament will not need to be activated after Friday’s election after five women were elected to the XVII Parliament. The quota system is designed to increase women’s political participation and reserves five seats in the Parliament for women M.P.s. If no woman is elected during the elections, the amendment is activated and five seats are added to the Legislative Assembly.

According to the preliminary count for Friday’s election, four women (excluding unopposed Fiame Naomi Mata’afa) bested their male counterparts in political contests. 

Matamua Vasati Pulufana fought off the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti winning the Fa’asaleleaga No.1 constituency seat.  The wife of a former parliamentarian Matamua contested under the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) banner. 

Caretaker Minister of Health, Faimalotoa Kika Stowers retains the Gagaifomauga No.1 seat becoming the only one of her female colleagues from the previous term to survive the election.  She is joined by newcomer and H.R.P.P. flag bearer for Falealupo, Leota Tima Leavai. 

Lastly, the fifth woman to make up the quota is Mulipola Rosa Molioo who took an early leap from pre-polling up to the final countdown, conquering five men who contested in Palauli No.1. 

Mulipola and Matamua are joined by their uncontested F.A.S.T. leader, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa in the new political party.      

There were 21 women who ran for Parliament in this year’s General Elections. The former Members of Parliament who lost their seats following a preliminary count include: Gatoloaifa’ana Amataga Gidlow, Fa’aulusau Rosa Stowers and Aliimalemanu Alofa Tuuau. 

Fa’aulusau was the first to have entered Parliament in the last term under new Constitutional changes that makes it compulsory for women to hold 10 per cent of seats in the Legislative Assembly. 

Other women who contested but were unsuccessful included Sua Vivian Leota-Suatele from Fa’asaleleaga No.2, Fiso Taranaki Mailei and Laulu Ianeta Chan Tung from Palauli No.3 and Mae’e Falefa Silva from Palauli No.1.

From Vaimauga No.4, Maugaoali’i Faamanu Mualia; Fesola’i Logo Tepa-Toloa from Aana Alofi No.1 and Lolotauama Eseta Mataituli from Aana Alofi No.2. 

Running from Aiga i le Tai was Pouli Taialofa Naseri and from Siumu was Atuatasi Katifa Bryce.

Contesting the seat in Vaa o Fonoti was Taumainamoe Aufui Tuimalatu and from Anoamaa No.1 – Upuolevavau Agnes Ugapo and Leuluama Vaai Faaee. The Anoamaa No.2 seat was contested by Toomata Norah Leota.

Source: Samoa Observer – https://www.samoaobserver.ws/category/samoa/82197

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