By RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission
The provisional results from Samoa’s general election has the HRPP and FAST political parties head to head, holding 25 seats each in the 51 seat Parliament.
The Faatuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi party leader, Fiame Naomi Mataafa, told reporters the number of seats her party has won in a media conference last night while the office of the Electoral Commission was still counting the preliminary results.
An independent candidate, Tuala Tevaga Iosefo Ponifasio, who won the seat for Gaga’emauga number one is now the king maker for both parties to form a new government.
But FAST party leader said the process of negotiating with the independent candidate would be carried out soon.
Meanwhile the HRPP party leader and caretaker Prime Minister was the first to call a media conference held at his party’s headquarters last night where he thanked everyone involved in carrying out a peaceful election.
But he was not able to reveal the number of seats his party has won.
The FAST party has won 15 seats on the island of Savai’i, and 10 in Upolu including the unopposed seat of Lotofaga electoral constituency held by the party’s leader.
Four women have made it to the new Parliament as a result of yesterday’s election including two for FAST party.
They are Matamua Vasati Pulufana, who defeated the caretaker Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, and Mulipola Anarosa Fonoti, who has won the seat for Palauli number one from a former HRPP MP.
A female candidate who competed under the HRPP party banner for Falealupo constituency, Leota Tima Le’avai, has also won.
The caretaker Minister of Health, Faimalomatumua Kika Stowers, Ah Kau, has been re-elected.
The fifth woman in the new Parliament is the leader of FAST party which means the threshold under the constitution for five seats for women will not apply.