An announcement issued on Monday night by the nation’s legal professional common appeared to bear out that evaluation. The official, Savalenoa Mareva Betham Annandale, an ally of Mr. Tuilaepa’s, declared the swearing-in illegal and mentioned everybody concerned was topic to civil and prison prosecution.
The delays might put Mr. Tuilaepa nearer to his objective of a return to the polls.
“A second election would be an absolute farce,” mentioned Patricia O’Brien, an skilled on the area on the Australian National University. “You can’t trust any of these officials anymore to run a clean election because Tuilaepa wants a foregone conclusion — which is that he wins.”
For Samoans on both aspect of the political divide, seeing Ms. Mata’afa, a revered veteran of Samoan politics, locked outdoors Parliament House was a extremely emotional second, mentioned Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, a scholar and journalist based mostly in Samoa. Feelings ran particularly excessive as individuals there started to sing historic Samoan protest songs, she mentioned.
“People were singing songs about our Mau movement,” she mentioned, referring to Samoa’s peaceable motion for independence. “One of the leaders of the Mau movement was Fiame’s grandfather. No matter which side you’re on, that is just a very, very emotional thing to witness.”
For essentially the most half, she mentioned, supporters of each events have remained loyal to their aspect all through the method, although some H.R.P.P. voters appeared to be deterred by what appeared to many to be an influence seize by Mr. Tuilaepa.
Around the area, governments inspired Samoan officers to observe the need of the individuals.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand voiced her assist for Samoa’s judiciary. “Here in New Zealand, we have complete faith in Samoa’s institutions, and that includes its judiciary,” she instructed reporters. “Our call would be to maintain and uphold the rule of law and that democratic outcome.”