Last modified: 13 January 2019
The state is known as Malo Sa’oloto Tuto’atasi o Samoa in its national language. This means the Independent State of Samoa. The country is officially not a monarchy, but it comes close.
The independent state of Samoa is situated in the Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawai’i and New Zealand. It consists of two large and eight small islands. The Dutchman Jacob Roggeveen in 1722 was the first European to discover the Samoan islands. Only in the 1830s British missionaries and traders started arriving. The islands were claimed by the Brits, Germans, French and Americans. Around 1900 the Samoan Islands were divided into two parts through the Tripartite Convention. The eastern island group became a territory of the USA (nowadays American Samoa). The western islands became known as German Samoa. New Zealand controlled these islands from 1914 to 1962. In 1962 Western Samoa became an independent country. Since July 1997 the country is known as Samoa only. In 1962 two of the four paramount chiefs of Samoa at the time of the independence were appointed joint head of state for life.
Head of state
The current head of state is Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, O le Ao o le Malo of Samoa. He was born at Moto’otua, Samoa, on 29 April 1947. The title of “O le Ao o le Malo” means Chieftian of the Government
Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II succeeded Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi in 2017.
He was sworn in at the Parliament of Samoa on 21 July 2017.
Marriage and descendants
Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II is married to Masiofo Faamausili Leinafo Tuimalealiifano.
Prime Ministers Department
Future Heads of State will be elected by the Legislative Assembly and hold office for five year terms. They can be re-elected, and there is no limit set for the number of terms someone can serve as head of state. The head of state is one of the four paramount chiefs of Samoa: the Malietoa family, the Mata’afa family (title vacant), the Tupua family or the Tuimalealiifano family. You could call the type of government a mix of a parliamentary democracy/republic and a constitutional monarchy under a native chief.
The heads of state of Samoa
|Malietoa Tanumafili II (1913-2007)||1962-2007||Elected for life|
|Tupua Tamasese Mea’ole (1905-1963)||1962-1963||Elected for life|
|Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi (1938- )||2007-2017|
|Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II (1947- )||2017-|