The government’s actions after last month’s elections call democracy into question and set a dangerous precedent for developing nations
Samoa has long been touted as a beacon of democracy and political stability in the Pacific, a region troubled by military coups and civil strife. The prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, is the world’s second longest serving prime minister, having held the office for more than 22 years.
But the latest election in the country, held last month, saw the most serious challenge to Malielegaoi’s ruling Human Rights Protection party (HRPP), and has left the country without a clear result. In the weeks since, the government has used every method available to it – and some that arguably are not – to hold on to power. What the government is doing is effectively a bloodless coup.