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First female prime minister of Samoa to lead after months of legal battles

Fiame Naomi Mata’afa (seated C-in white) sits with members of parliament and the judiciary as she is sworn in as Samoa’s first woman prime minister in Apia on May 24, 2021, at an extraordinary makeshift tent ceremony after the island nation’s long-ruling government refused to cede power and locked the doors of parliament. (MALIETAU MALIETOA/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 8:04 PM PT – Saturday, July 24, 2021

The first female prime minister of Samoa has officially taken office. On Friday, an appeals court cleared the way for Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, who was ceremoniously sworn in at the end of May this year.

Her rule was immediately challenged by the sitting prime minister of 22 years. Several court battles ensued after Mata’afa’s party won a one seat majority in parliament following an election in April.

Fiame Naomi Mata’afa speaks during the Pacific Parliamentary and Political Leaders Forum at Parliament on April 18, 2013 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Mata’afa said despite following months of turmoil, Samoans should unite and move forward. “Let us all now come together each in our own way to make Samoa, our beloved country, a place we can be proud of and happy to live in,” said the new prime minister.

Besides passing a budget, Mata’afa’s government plans to end a new Chinese development in their major port. She cited the government’s debt, calling the previous government’s plans for a Chinese funded port “excessive.”

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