Cook Islands P.M. congratulates Fiame

The Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Stephen Brown has conveyed his congratulatory wishes to Samoa’s new Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa.

He is the third head of government in the region to recognise Fiame as Prime Minister of Samoa, after the Appellate Court’s landmark judgement last Friday which recognised the 24 May 2021 swearing-in by Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party.

Mr Brown’s congratulatory message to Fiame was published in a statement issued Saturday afternoon (Samoa Time) on the Cook Islands’ Office of the Prime Minister’s official Facebook page.

He wrote a letter to Fiame as soon as it was confirmed that Fiame and the F.A.S.T. party won their case in the Court of Appeal, the statement says.

“Prime Minister Brown wrote a letter to his Samoan counterpart as soon it was confirmed that P.M. Mata’afa and her F.A.S.T. Party had won the court cases that determined the outcome of the election held in May,” the statement reads.

On behalf of his government and the people of Cook Islands, Mr Brown offered his sincere congratulations on the election of Fiame as Prime Minister of Samoa.

He said the people of the Cook Islands have been paying close attention to the aftermath of Samoa’s general Election held on 9 April.

Mr. Brown commended Fiame and F.A.S.T. for the “calm, persistent manner” in which they pursued their “rightful claim” to form a new government for Samoa and also praised Samoa’s judiciary for their work.

“For the last several months we in the Cook Islands have been closely following the circumstances surrounding the recent general election in Samoa and its unprecedented aftermath,” Mr. Brown said.

“The calm, persistent manner in which you and your party pursued your rightful claims and the steadfast commitment of Samoa’s judicial system to uphold fundamental principles of your country’s Constitution and the rule of law in very trying times are both testament to Samoa’s highest cultural values and a tribute to you and the people of your country.”

The Cook Islands hopes to strengthen relations with Samoa, he added.

“The Cook Islands and Samoa have long enjoyed close historical, cultural, economic and other ties in which we place great value.

“Those ties have increased and diversified in recent years, and I look forward to discussing them with P.M. Mata’afa personally in the near future as well as ways in which we might strengthen our relations in the months ahead.”

The Cook Islands Prime Minister’s statement comes a day after his New Zealand colleague Jacinda Ardern also congratulated Fiame, immediately following the Court’s decision. 

The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also congratulated Fiame in a statement released on Friday night. 

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