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O le Ao o le Malo (Samoan: "Chieftain of the Government"; Ao is a title generally reserved for chiefs (matai), while malo means "government") is the Samoan head of state.
The position is described in Part III of the 1960 Samoan constitution. At the time the constitution was adopted, it was anticipated that future heads of state would be chosen from among the four Tama a 'Aiga "royal" paramount chiefs. However, this is not required by the constitution, so, for this reason, Samoa can be considered a republic rather than a constitutional monarchy (such as the United Kingdom). The government Press Secretariat describes O le Ao o le Malo as a "ceremonial president". However, as all of the heads of state, elected by the Fono, the country's parliament (which is itself almost entirely composed of customary chiefs), since independence have been one of the four chiefs, so it is ambiguous as to whether the country constitutes a parliamentary republic or a democratic elective monarchy.
The Samoan head of state, has since the country's independence enjoyed the title of Highness, as do the heads of the four paramount chiefly dynasties.
The current O le Ao o le Malo is Va'aletoa Sualauvi II, who was elected to a five-year term which started on 21 July 2017.

Source: Wikipedia


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