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PM names two new Ministers in Cabinet Reshuffle

By Lagi Keresoma

Apia, Samoa – 07 September2023: Halfway through the FAST Governments first five year term, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa has reshuffled her Cabinet appointing two new Cabinet Ministers.

Among the major changes is shifting the Minister of Finance, Mulipola Anarosa Ale-Molioo to the Ministry of Women and Social Development that implements the government’s pet $1m dollar Village Development Project.

Two MPs who came through by elections, Lautimuia Afoa Uelese Vaai is the new Minister of Finance and Laumatiamanu Ringo Purcell takes on the newly established Ministry of Sports & Recreation.

The current Cabinet has 13 Ministers and according to Fiame, there is provision in the Constitution for Cabinet to have 15 members.

Being in power for 25 months, Fiame believes it is time to review what they have been able to achieve and look to the second half of the term and the future.

“Being mindful of the priorities that need to be addressed and some of the new developments that we want to put into place, a reshuffle was determined at the Cabinet meeting today,” she told the media last night.

The Prime Minister takes over Tourism from Toeolesulusulu Cedric Shuster who keeps the Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment (MNRE) that will be in charge of all Government lands under the Samoa Lands Corporation (SLC), the Land Commission, and the Samoa Trust Estates Corporation (STEC).

Fiame said all Government land entities will now come under one umbrella which be MNRE.

Leatinuu Wayne Sooialo retains the Ministry of Public Enterprises (MPE).

Leota Laki Sio is shifted from the Ministry of Women Community & Social Development (MWCSD) to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Labour (MCIL).

“The changes are significant in the work of the Government especially with the appointment of two new Ministers to assist in the collective work of Cabinet,” said Fiame.

The new change will come into effect on 01 October 2023 as the Ministries prepare for the transition.