18 Jun 2007

Former Samoa prime minister elected Head of State

10:46 am on 18 June 2007

Samoa's new Head of State, Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi, will be officially confirmed when parliament reconvenes this week.

More than two thirds of the 39 seats currently hold by the ruling HRPP party voted for Tuiatua to become the next Head of State in a caucus meeting.

The country's parliament has 49 seats.

The nomination of the former prime minister and member of the council of deputies was finalised by the ruling party, led by prime minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, after some three hours of deliberations.

There were three candidates for the post; two members of the council of deputies and a cabinet Minister.

The newly elected Head of State will take up the post for five years, but under the constitution, parliament could consider an extension.

Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi is the son of the late Tupua Tamasese Mea'ole, who was jointly Head of State with the late Malietoa Tanumafilii II, when the country became independent in 1962.