Samoa will have a new Deputy Prime Minister by next Tuesday when Parliament reconvenes in an earlier than expected session.
Samoa Observer reports members of the ruling Human Rights Protection Party will vote for a new Deputy Prime Minister before then, following the sudden departure from HRPP by long time MP and deputy, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa last week.
Party Whip, Alai’asā Sepulona Moananu said caucus members will vote for a new deputy leader.
Caucus had an emergency meeting last Friday after Fiamē left to become an independent MP but did not vote on a replacement for her.
PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi is likely to name his incoming deputy as Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, the portfolio Fiamē has held since 2016.
KHJ News understands the next session of Parliament is expected to deal with amendments of the Electoral Act, made necessary after a legal challenge which labeled it discriminatory.
Parliamentary Standing Orders are also expected to come under scrutiny and may be changed to make it compulsory for members who change party affiliations to go back to their electorate for a by-election.
Long serving MP for Palauli le Falefa constituency, Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, was a contender for the deputy post following the 2016 General Elections but lost to Fiame by a 21-19 caucus vote.
Faumuina and another former Deputy Prime Minister, Fonotoe Nuafesili Lauofo Meredith, are expected to be serious contenders for the post.