Samoa's Fiame Naomi Mata'afa says country is facing 'coup', outgoing administration is refusing to step aside

Samoa's Opposition leader says the outgoing administration is refusing to step aside and the country is facing a "bloodless coup".

Samoa's Head of State Tuimaleali'ifano Va'aleto'a Sualauvi II announced late on Saturday night the scheduled swearing-in on Monday would be suspended "until such time as to be announced and for reasons that I will make known in due course". Samoa's Supreme Court later overturned this proclamation.

Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, FAST Party leader and Prime Minister in waiting, is suspicious of the incumbent prime minister.

"This is an illegal takeover of government, essentially that's what coups are," she says.

"We had every expectation that the convening of Parliament should happen."

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who's been Prime Minister for 23 years, addressed the nation on Sunday, saying the court ruling shouldn't stand and went against the law and spirituality of Samoan life.

"He doesn't want to acknowledge defeat, he doesn't want to leave the seat of power," Mata'afa says.

"We have to fight this because we want to retain this country as a country that is democratically ruled premised on the rule of law."

In the current political climate, police have been put on standby.

"There's no unrest but there is this feeling that something is brewing and that's the scary part for us," says Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, Guardian Pacific reporter.

"We have no Prime Minister, we have no ministers of Cabinet, we have no sitting Parliament - that is scary and it's also unsettling."

Mata'afa says Pacific leaders should back a fair democratic process.

"Because it's a bloodless coup, people aren't so concerned or disturbed by it."

New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta is calling for all parties in Samoa to uphold the rule of law and demonstrate respect for the democratic process.

According to the Constitution, Parliament must sit on Monday and the swearing-in of Parliament "should" happen - but it's not a given.