Constitution and political system
Following the Constitution of 1962, Samoa is a
constitutional and partly parliamentary-democratic monarchy.
The set is characterized by a mixture of English and Samoan
traditions. The head of state, called O le Ao le Malo,
has been the sole leader since 1963. When he dies, the
successor is to be elected by parliament for five years,
among the four bearing the title of "royal son". The
executive power lies with the prime minister, who is elected
by parliament, and by a government the prime minister
appoints. Parliament, Fono, has 49 members; 47 is
elected for five years among Samoan Mataians from local
circles, nominated by their clans as chieftains. The last
two are elected from non-Samoan citizens.
Samoa is divided into 4 regions, where the Mataians,
through their own councils, exercise a considerable degree
of local autonomy.
The judiciary is characterized by a combination of
British and traditional law. The Supreme Court is the
Supreme Court, a Court of Appeal (presided over by the Chief
Justice), the Magistrate's Court (consisting of two
magistrates and four Samoan judges) and the Land and Title
Court (presided over by one of the Supreme Court judges).
Weights and Measures
Dimensions and weight are metric.
Samoa has no regular military forces. The country has had
a defense and friendship agreement with New Zealand since
1962. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of WSM and its meanings of Samoa.