Samoa's Attorney-General apologises for 'unauthorised' press release saying Supreme Court judges would be overthrown

Samoa's Attorney-General has apologised for a press release threatening to throw out judges, saying the release was never authorised.

On Thursday Attorney-General Savalenoa Mareva Betham-Annandale applied to have the Supreme Court justices presiding over election challenges disqualified. 

But early on Friday morning, a statement was sent out apologising for the press release about overthrowing the judges, saying it was never authorised. 

 "The [Attorney-General] recalls this press release as it was not authorised and does not reflect our view of the Honourable Judiciary. We apologise profusely for this unfortunate situation," it read.

It's the latest development in a chaotic political struggle that has been ongoing since April 9th when incumbent Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa was elected as the first female Prime Minister.

Her party, FAST, which was formed by a breakaway group from the governing party HRPP, gained the upper hand over the incumbent party, which has been in power since 1982.

Last week Head of State Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II declared Parliament would sit on Monday, as required by law. But on Saturday he backtracked, saying Parliament would not sit "until such a time as to be announced and for reasons that I will make known in due course.".

This was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court on Sunday - then hours later the Speaker said the official swearing-in was postponed "until a further proclamation has been made by the Head of State".

But Mata'afa was sworn in regardless in a ceremony on the lawns of Parliament - as she was locked out of the building.

Caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi called the move "treason".

He refused to stand aside as he accused Mata'afa of "the highest form of illegal conduct".

"The Devil has won and taken them over."