Samoa's political chaos is "shameful" and "sad", according to a political expert who says there's no sign the outgoing Prime Minister will relinquish his grip on power anytime soon.
Mata'afa Keni Lesa told The AM Show on Monday it's been a sleepless few days after its Prime Minister of 23 years Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Neioti Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi seemingly refused to peacefully transition power on Saturday night.
Lesa told The AM Show Monday was supposed to be "a wonderful day for everyone" as a new Parliament was due to be sworn in - but instead, there's turmoil.
"I think a general feeling is the outgoing Prime Minister doesn't want to give up power, and everything points to that," he said.
"Since 9 April the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) and their Prime Minister have done everything to deny what the law says."
Samoa's constitutional crisis deepened on Sunday night when the supposedly retired Speaker of the House Leaupepe Toleafoa Faafisi overturned a Supreme Court order which would have allowed Parliament to convene on Monday
It's the latest development in a stalemate that has been ongoing since 9 April 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 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".
Lesa says the chaos marks a "very shameful and very sad" day for Samoa.
"My hope is that at some point it will end quietly, and he will hand power over gracefully... a lot of people in this nation, they want a peaceful transition."