Prime Minister Tuila'epa's ruling Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) gained a landslide victory in parliamentary polls in March 2011, heralding a fourth term for the premier.
The HRPP won 36 seats out of the 49 available in the Samoan parliament, the Fono. The opposition Tautua Samoa Party (TSP), contesting an election for the first time since its formation in 2008, won the remaining 13 seats.
Mr Tuila'epa won his seat unopposed, despite criticism over the government's handling of a deadly tsunami that struck the country in 2009. However, three of his cabinet ministers lost their seats in the election.
He first became prime minister in 1998 when his predecessor, Tofilau Eti Alesana, resigned on health grounds after 16 years in the job.
Born in 1945 and an economist by training, Mr Tuila'epa was educated in Samoa and New Zealand, where he gained a master's degree - the first Samoan to do so.
In 1978 he moved to Brussels to work for the European Economic Community. He entered the Fono two years later, while simultaneously working as a partner in the accounting firm Coopers and Lybrand.
All but two of the seats in the Fono are reserved for ethnic Samoans and only the heads of extended families, known as "matai", may stand for election to them. The Fono selects the prime minister.
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"Samoa Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Samoa/Government
"Samoa Government Stats, NationMaster." 1962-2014. <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Samoa/Government>.
'Samoa Government Stats, NationMaster', <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Samoa/Government> [assessed 1962-2014]
"Samoa Government Stats", NationMaster [Internet]. 1962-2014. Avaliable from: <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Samoa/Government>.
"Samoa Government Stats", NationMaster. Avaliable at: nationmaster.com. Assessed 1962-2014.
"Samoa Government Stats, NationMaster," http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Samoa/Government (assessed 1962-2014)
"Samoa Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Samoa/Government (last visited 1962-2014)
"Samoa Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Samoa/Government (as of 1962-2014)