The court battle for the Malietoa paramount matai title in Samoa has begun with 51 confirmed petitions to be considered over the next two to three weeks.
This includes 27 petitions in support of, Papalii Fa'amausili Moli, the son of the late head of state who was bestowed with the title last July.
24 are opposed and want the court to allow all heirs of the Malietoa title to choose a successor for the late Malietoa Tanumafili II.
The challenge by the heirs of Malietoa Gatuitasina and Malietoa Talavou is based on a lands and titles court decision from 1939.
The member of the council of deputies or deputy head of state, Tuimalealiifano Va'aleto'a Sualauvi II, who is a holder of another
paramount title, has also filed a petition in support of Papalii Fa'amausili Moli.