U.N. urges peaceful resolution to Samoa's crisis
The United Nations on Monday has called on the leaders of the Independent State of Samoa to find solutions to its current political crisis through dialogue and "in the best interest of the people and institutions of Samoa."
The statement was released by Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for the Secretary-General, stating that the U.N. Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres has been keeping a close eye on the developments in Samoa since the 9 April General Elections in Samoa.
"He urges the leaders in Samoa to find solutions to the current political situation through dialogue in the best interest of the people and institutions of Samoa," the spokesman said.
"The United Nations stands ready to provide support to Samoa if requested by the parties."
The statement from the U.N. came after the events of 24 May, 45 days since the country headed to the polls to vote last month.
After April's election the two major parties in Samoa, the Human Rights Protection Party [H.R.P.P] and the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi [F.A.S.T.] both won 25 seats in the election.
F.A.S.T.'s holding of its own swearing-in ceremony on Monday came after a scheduled sitting of Parliament was declared cancelled by the Speaker of the previous Parliament, who ordered the Parliamentary precinct be locked down.
His Highness the Head of State of Samoa, Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, issued a writ on Friday, to declare the official opening of XVII Parliament on Monday.
But over the weekend he issued another writ, revoking his earlier decree and seeking to suspend Sunday's ceremony.
The Supreme Court subsequently struck down that order and ruled that the sitting should go ahead.
F.A.S.T. members and supporters found the Parliament doors locked when they arrived on Monday morning.
Fiame Naomi Mata’afa along with F.A.S.T. elected M.P.'s were sworn in during a makeshift ceremony held in a tent on the statehouse lawn in the capital.
When her opinion was sought in regards to the statement by the U.N., the leader of F.A.S.T. said: "It’s pretty toothless."
“I think the indication is that they would like to act as brokers. But I think it’s very important that institutions like the U.N. actually state very strongly their positions on the rule of law
“So I understand what they are saying, and I am appreciative of that.
“I am sure if it is called for we will ask for their assistance but at the moment it seems like we are trying to see our way through this utilising the Samoan institutions and laws, although they have been knocked around a bit.
“I have also noted NZ and Australia’s positions and I do appreciate their underlying importance of democratic principles.”
Attempts to get a comment from the leader of H.R.P.P. were unsuccessful as of press time.