In the Samoan language, the Legislative Assembly of Samoa is sometimes referred to as the Samoan Fono while the government of the country is referred to as the Malo.
The word fono is a Samoan and Polynesian term for councils or meetings great and small and applies to national assemblies and legislatures, as well as local village councils.
The Samoan Fono is descended from the Western Samoa Legislative Assembly established under New Zealand rule in the early 1900s. On the country's political independence in 1962, the 5th Legislative Assembly became the 1st Samoan Parliament.
The Samoan Fono has 50 Members of Parliament. 47 members are matai (traditional heads of families), elected in six two-seat and 35 single-seat constituencies. The other 2 Members are elected by, and represent, individual voters, i.e. "Samoan citizens descended from non-Samoans". An extra Member of Parliament was added after the 2016 election in order to meet the quota of 10% female MPs.
Members of Parliament in Samoa are directly elected by universal suffrage, and serve a five-year term.
The Head of State or O le Ao o le Malo is elected for a five-year term by the Fono.
Elections are held under a simple plurality system. Samoan electors are divided into six two-seat and 35 single-seat constituencies. In addition, two seats are reserved for "individual voters", non-indigenous citizens who may not hold a chiefly title or any customary interest in Samoan land.
|Human Rights Protection Party||45,816||57.30||35||+6|
|Tautua Samoa Party||6,432||8.04||2||–11|
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The Fono is responsible for electing the O le Ao o le Malo, the Samoan head of state.
The Fono is currently in its 14th term.
|1st Legislative Assembly||1948 election||No parties|
|2nd Legislative Assembly||1951 election||No parties|
|3rd Legislative Assembly||1954 election||No parties|
|4th Legislative Assembly||1957 election||No parties|
|5th Legislative Assembly / 1st Parliament||1961 election||No parties|
|2nd Parliament||1964 election||No parties|
|3rd Parliament||1967 election||No parties|
|4th Parliament||1970 election||No parties|
|5th Parliament||1973 election||No parties|
|6th Parliament||1976 election||No parties|
|7th Parliament||1979 election||No parties|
|8th Parliament||1982 election||Human Rights Protection Party|
|9th Parliament||1985 election||Human Rights Protection Party / Christian Democratic Party (Samoa)|
|10th Parliament||1988 election||Human Rights Protection Party|
|11th Parliament||1991 election||Human Rights Protection Party|
|12th Parliament||1996 election||Human Rights Protection Party|
|13th Parliament||2001 election||Human Rights Protection Party|
|14th Parliament||2006 election||Human Rights Protection Party|
|15th Parliament||2011 election||Human Rights Protection Party|
|16th Parliament||2016 election||Human Rights Protection Party|
The Fono is housed in a bee-hive shaped building based on the traditional Samoan fale.