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Legislative Assembly of Samoa

  (Redirected from Fono)

The Legislative Assembly is the Parliament of Samoa based in the capital, Apia, where the country's central administration is situated.

Legislative Assembly of Samoa

Fono Aoao Faitulafono o Samoa
Coat of arms of Samoa.svg
Toleafoa Faafisi
since 16 March 2016
Legislative Assembly of Samoa Dec 2017.svg
Political groups
Length of term
5 years
Meeting place
Maota, Tiafau, Apia[1]

In the Samoan language, the Legislative Assembly of Samoa is sometimes referred to as the Samoan Fono while the government of the country is referred to as the Malo.

The word fono is a Samoan and Polynesian term for councils or meetings great and small and applies to national assemblies and legislatures, as well as local village councils.

The modern government of Samoa exists on a national level alongside the country's fa'amatai indigenous chiefly system of governance and social organisation.[2]



Members of the First Legislative Assembly of Samoa under New Zealand administration, circa 1921.

The Samoan Fono is descended from the Western Samoa Legislative Assembly established under New Zealand rule in the early 1900s. On the country's political independence in 1962, the 5th Legislative Assembly became the 1st Samoan Parliament.[3]

Members of ParliamentEdit

The Samoan Fono has 49 Members of Parliament. 47 members are matai (traditional heads of families), elected in six two-seat and 35 single-seat constituencies. The other 2 Members are elected by, and represent, individual voters, i.e. "Samoan citizens descended from non-Samoans".[4] An extra Member of Parliament was added after the 2016 election in order to meet the quota of 10% female MPs.[5]

Members of Parliament in Samoa are directly elected by universal suffrage, and serve a five-year term.

Head of StateEdit

The Head of State or O le Ao o le Malo is elected for a five-year term by the Fono.


Elections are held under a simple plurality system. Samoan electors are divided into six two-seat and 35 single-seat constituencies. In addition, two seats are reserved for "individual voters", non-indigenous citizens who may not hold a chiefly title or any customary interest in Samoan land.

Electors must be Samoan citizens and aged over 21.[6] Candidates must be qualified as electors, and in addition those for territorial seats must hold a matai title.[7]

Last election resultsEdit

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Human Rights Protection Party 45,816 57.30 35 +6
Tautua Samoa Party 6,432 8.04 2 –11
Independents 27,704 34.65 13 +6
Invalid/blank votes
Total 79,952 100 50 +1
Registered voters/turnout
Source: OEC

Legislative ProceduresEdit

Other functionsEdit

The Fono is responsible for electing the O le Ao o le Malo, the Samoan head of state.

Terms of the FonoEdit


The Fono is housed in a bee-hive shaped building based on the traditional Samoan fale.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ Fana'afi Le Tagaloa, Aiono (1986). Western Samoa the Sacred Covenant. Land rights of Pacific women. University of the South Pacific;Institute of Pacific Studies. p. 103. ISBN 982-02-0012-1. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
  3. ^ Parliament of Samoa: general information Archived June 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Samoa PM accused of racism over anti-Chinese remark". Radio New Zealand International. 21 January 2005. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  5. ^ . 11 March 2016 Retrieved 16 March 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Electoral Act 1963, s16 Archived March 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Electoral Act 1963, s5 Archived October 2, 2006, at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit