The official State Opening of the XVIth Parliament of Samoa was held on Friday 18th March 2016 at the temporary Parliament Chambers at Gymnasium 2, Tuanaimato.
The ceremony opened with a service lead by the Chairman of the CCCS, Rev Elder Tavita Roma with the Special Choir of the Office of the Clerk singing the hymns and national anthem.
The service was attended by His Highness, Le Ao o le Malo and his Masiofo, Members of the Council of Deputies, Members of Parliament, Judiciary, the Diplomatic Corp, Heads of Government Ministries and the general public.
His Highness, Le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Hon Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, in his address, reflected on the importance of seeking wisdom and prudence within the next five years. He also reminded that ‘A calm will certainly follow a storm’ as there will always be challenges in the road ahead.
The Official Opening of the XVI Parliament involved the Announcement of Warrant of Appointment, Confirmation of Appointment, Swearing-in of the Hon Speaker, Afioga Hon Leaupepe Toleafoa Apulu Faafisi, the Swearing-In of Members of Parliament, the Announcement of the Code of Parliamentary Ethics and a Proclamation by the Head of State.
The Prime Minister, Hon Afioga Auelua Fatialofa Lupesoliai Tuilaepa Aiono Neioti Dr Sailele Malielegaoi and twelve Cabinet Ministers were sworn in during the Executive Ceremony.
Members of the Cabinet were sworn in by the newly appointed Speaker of the House, Afioga Hon Leaupepe Toleafoa Apulu Faafisi.
This term will mark the first time in the History of Samoa that the members of Parliament in the Chamber will exceed 49 members. The Chamber will seat 50 members to cater to the statutory requirement that has benchmarked the number of women in Parliament.
The ceremony concluded with refreshments.