Prime Minister of Samoa

The prime minister of Samoa is the head of government of the Independent State of Samoa, a sovereign country located in the Pacific Ocean.

Prime Minister of the
Independent State of
Palemia o le Malo Tuto‘atasi o Samoa
Coat of arms of Samoa.svg
Coat of arms of
the Independent State
of Samoa
Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi 2018.jpg
Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi

since 23 November 1998
StatusHead of Government
Member ofLegislative Assembly of Samoa, Cabinet of Samoa
AppointerO le Ao o le Malo of Samoa
(Head of State)
Term lengthFive years,
renewable indefinitely
Constituting instrumentConstitution of Samoa
PrecursorLeader of Government Business
Inaugural holderFiamē Matā'afa Fiame Mulinu'u II
Formation22 May 1875
(Prior to Colonisation)
1 October 1959
(Shortly before Independence)
DeputyDeputy Prime Minister of Samoa
(Office Vacant since 11 September 2020)
Salary78,000 USD annually[1]

History of the officeEdit

Colonial periodEdit

The first prime minister during the colonial period was Albert Barnes Steinberger, who originally represented the American government in the Samoan Islands but was close to German commercial interests. After the indigenous authorities of the islands adopted the Constitution of 1873, Steinberger was appointed Prime Minister by King Malietoa Laupepa in July 1875. He held this post for seven months before the British and American consuls in the country persuaded Laupepa to dismiss him, seeing his role as German interference in the islands. Over the next two decades, there was no prime minister in the country, and in 1899 Samoa fell under the colonial rule of the Western powers, being divided as a German colony and an American colony at the end of the Second Samoan Civil War, according to the terms of the Tripartite Convention.[2]

At the beginning of the World War I, German Samoa was occupied by New Zealand in 1914, and was subsequently organized as a trust territory of New Zealand in 1920.

Post-independence periodEdit

The territory gained independence in 1962 as the Independent State of Western Samoa. The Constitution, adopted in 1960 during the transitional period of autonomy, provides that the executive power is vested in the head of state (O le Ao o le Malo), elected by the Legislative Assembly, and who acts only on the recommendation of the government. The head of state has royal assent powers to sign bills into law and dissolve Parliament. Executive power is exercised by the prime minister and his cabinet. The prime minister is appointed by the head of state as a member of the Legislative Assembly who enjoys the confidence of a majority in the Legislative Assembly (Article 32 (2) (a)). The prime minister may be removed from office by the Legislative Assembly (Article 33 (1) (b)). Samoa is thus a parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster system.[3]

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Samoa (1875-1876)Edit

Political Party
No. Portrait Name
Term of office Political party Election Monarch
Took office Left office Time in office
1   Albert Barnes Steinberger
22 May 1875 8 February 1876 262 days Independent Laupepa
Post abolished (8 February 1876 – 1 October 1959)

List of Prime Ministers of the Independent State of Samoa (1959-Present)Edit

Political Parties
Other Factions
  Denotes acting Prime Minister

† Died in office

No. Portrait Name
Term of office Political party Election O le Ao o le Malo
(Head of state)
Took office Left office Time in office
1   Mata'afa Mulinu'u II
1 October 1959 25 February 1970 10 years, 147 days Independent 1961
Tanumafili II
2   Tupua Tamasese Lealofi IV
25 February 1970 20 March 1973 3 years, 23 days Independent 1970 Tanumafili II
(1)   Mata'afa Mulinu'u II
20 March 1973 20 May 1975† 2 years, 61 days Independent 1973 Tanumafili II
  Tupua Tamasese Lealofi IV
21 May 1975 24 March 1976 308 days Independent Tanumafili II
3   Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Tupuola Efi
24 March 1976 13 April 1982 6 years, 20 days Independent 1976
Tanumafili II
4   Va'ai Kolone
13 April 1982 18 September 1982 158 days HRPP Tanumafili II
(3)   Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi
18 September 1982 31 December 1982 104 days Independent Tanumafili II
5   Tofilau Eti Alesana
31 December 1982 30 December 1985 2 years, 364 days HRPP 1985 Tanumafili II
(4)   Va'ai Kolone
30 December 1985 8 April 1988 2 years, 100 days HRPP 1988 Tanumafili II
(5)   Tofilau Eti Alesana
8 April 1988 23 November 1998 10 years, 229 days HRPP 1991
Tanumafili II
6   Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi
23 November 1998 Incumbent 21 years, 308 days HRPP 2001
Tanumafili II
Tufuga Efi
Va'aletoa Sualauvi II

Living former prime ministersEdit

As of September 2020 there is only one former living Samoan prime minister, as seen below.

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ Hill, Bruce (28 September 2016). "Samoan leaders salaries published by newspaper". ABC Radio Australia.
  2. ^ Malama Meleisea, Lagaga: A Short History of Western Samoa, Apia, University of the South Pacific, 1987, ISBN 982-02-0029-6, pp.83-85
  3. ^ Constitution of Samoa

External linksEdit