Samoa’s Political Crisis Reveals Cracks In The Pacific

Samoa’s Political Crisis Reveals Cracks In The Pacific

Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi's refusal to cede to Fiame Naomi Mata'afa in the Samoa election impasse is pure politics, but the solution will need to be indelibly Samoan.

Andrew H. Sweet
Andrew H. Sweet
  • According to Dr. Anna Powles, senior lecturer at Massey's Centre for Defence and Security Studies, and an expert in defense and security studies:
  • "First, three out of five Micronesian states withdrawing from the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) moved quickly to acknowledge the election result and political turmoil in Samoa. The move was unexpected and again demonstrated the Micronesian states' willingness to test the 'Pacific way.' "
  • "Second, the responses from the two largest members of the PIF, Australia and New Zealand, were identical in tone but reflected two vastly different political realities."
  • "Third, the clamor that followed Fiame's statement that her incoming government would scrap the Chinese-funded Vaiusu Bay port indicates the impact of strategic competition on the Pacific. International media pushed the China angle, and Samoan social media debates revealed opposing views on Chinese influence."

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