The Week (US)

Apia, Samoa


Leader locked out: Samoa was plunged into a constituti­onal crisis this week after newly elected Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, the first woman to lead the island nation, was physically locked out of the parliament. Incumbent Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegao­i, who was in power for 22 years, insists he is still in charge. Mata’afa, a wellknown power broker with ties to island royalty, had to take her oath of office in a pavilion erected outside the parliament building. “It’s all part of the electoral game, I suppose,” she said of the lockout. The judiciary has upheld Mata’afa’s win, but few neighborin­g countries have so far recognized her as leader. China’s reaction is being closely watched, because Malielegao­i had clinched a $100 million deal with Beijing to develop a port, and Mata’afa has pledged to cancel it.

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