Home > Frequently Asked Questions
How is the Parliament of Samoa structured?
Samoa is a unicameral (one House) Parliament. The House consists of 51 Members elected from each Electoral Constituency as prescribed by Article 44 of the Constitution.
What are the main functions of the Parliament of Samoa?
Amongst numerous functions, the 5 inherent functions of the Parliament of Samoa includes: To make laws, represent their constituency, form the Government of the Day, scrutinize the Executive, and approve the overall Budget.
Can members of the public attend parliamentary sessions?
Yes, by requesting to the Office of the Clerk for approval, a Chamber Pass may be provided for any member of the public wishing to attend parliamentary sittings.
How often does the Parliament meet in a year?
Parliament’s Sitting Calendar is determined by the Parliamentary Commission in January every year, however, there may be Special Sittings that can be scheduled at the discretion of Mr. Speaker.
Who is the current Speaker of the Parliament?
The 17th Parliamentary Term elected Susuga Hon PAPALII Lio Oloipola Taeu Masipau as Speaker of Parliament.
How are the members of Parliament elected?
The Members of Parliament are elected through a General Election held every 5 years at the dissolution of Parliament, Elections provide citizens over 21yrs to cast their vote for whoever they wish to represent their views in Parliament.
How long is the term of a Parliament member?
Each Member serves a term of 5 years after which new elections are held.
What is the role of the Head of State in the Parliament?
His Highness, Ao o le Malo assents the Bills passed by Parliament, thus making them official Acts of Parliament (the Laws of Samoa), he also holds a ceremonial role.
Can one access Parliament proceedings records?
Yes, records of Parliament proceedings are public and can be accessed through the official Parliament website or through the office of the Clerk.
How many members are in the Samoan Parliament?
The 17th Parliamentary Term currently consists of 53 Members; 51 elected Members and 2 additional seats to make up the 10% women quota.
Are there any women members in the Parliament?
Yes, there are currently 6 women Members of Parliament including our very first female Prime Minister.
What are the parliamentary committees and their functions?
The Parliament of Samoa has 5 Parliamentary Committees representing the different sectors, namely; Economic, Social, Infrastructure, Finance and Expenditure, and the Standing Orders Committee tasked with the scrutiny of the Executive.
When was the current Parliament building inaugurated?
The current Parliament building was inaugurated in 2019.
How can a citizen submit a petition to the Parliament?
Citizens can submit petitions through their respective MPs or directly to the Parliament Office following the stipulated guidelines.
Is there any provision for a vote of no confidence in the Parliament?
Article 33 of the Constitution provides for the outcome of a motion of no confidence, whereby the position of Prime Minister will be terminated by the Head of State when the Cabinet is defeated on any question or issue which the Prime Minister has declared to be a question or issue of confidence.
How can one get a guided tour of the Parliament?
Guided tours are available upon request to the Office of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, arrangements will then be made on specific days.
What qualifications are required to become a member of the Parliament?
The Constitution and Electoral Act 2019 provide specific criteria and requirements that individuals must satisfy before qualifying to run in General Elections.
How can one raise a matter in the Parliament?
Matters can be raised in the Parliament through respective Members. Citizens can approach their respective MPs with issues they want to be discussed.
What is the difference between a bill and an act in the Parliament?
A bill is a proposal for new legislation or amendment to existing legislation. Once a bill is debated, passed by the Parliament, and signed by the Head of State, it becomes an act.
Who can draft a bill for the Parliament?
Any member of the Parliament can draft a bill. However, financial bills can only be introduced by the government. Usually, Government Bills are drafted by the Office of the Attorney General together with the assistance of the Ministry/Office that will administer the Bill.