15 Jun 2017

Paramount title of Malietoa in Samoa finally decided

8:21 am on 15 June 2017

The three branches of Sa Malietoa in Samoa have reached agreement on who should hold the paramount title, unanimously deciding to bestow it on Faamausili Moli, a son of the late head of state and title holder, Malietoa Tanumafili II.

A family member says Faamausili was officially declared the next Malietoa in an 'ava ceremony held at Sapapalii village on Savaii Island on Tuesday, but the day for the traditional royal ceremony for the bestowal is yet to be finalised.

There has been ten years of debate over who should assume the Malietoa title following the death of Malietoa Tanumafili II.

The three family branches Malietoa Talavou, Malietoa Natuitasina and Malietoa Moli, became involved in a legal battle after Faamausili Moli was initially given the title in 2007 as he lacked full backing.

This week's decision includes a compromise, that after Faamausili Moli's reign, the title will be bestowed within the Malietoa Natuitasina and then go to Malietoa Talavou.

This compromise is to be registered by the heirs in the Lands and Titles court to ensure there are no future legal disputes.