PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT
Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
BIKENIBEU PAENIU OUSTED AS TUVALU PRIME MINISTER
By Al Hulsen
HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (April 13, 1999 -PIDP/CPIS)---A motion of no confidence in the Tuvalu Parliament Tuesday night has succeeded in ousting Bikenibeu Paeniu as Prime Minister.
A vote on the motion took place on the last day of the current parliamentary session.
According to a reliable source who spoke with knowledgeable persons in Tuvalu’s capital, Funafuti, the no confidence motion was introduced by the Member of Parliament from Vaitupu, Koloa Talake.
Of the twelve Members of Parliament, seven voted for the no confidence motion, four voted against it and one, MP Speaker Tomu Sione, abstained.
The primary reason for no confidence in the just-deposed government, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, is a personality conflict among Parliamentarians.
As of Tuesday night, Tuvalu time, no new prime minister had been elected.
In any case, official installation of the next head of government in Tuvalu cannot take place until the Governor General, Tomasi Puapua, returns from a business trip in American Samoa to conduct an inauguration.
Those Parliamentarians who voted no confidence in Paeniu, are: Faimalaga Luka, Ionatana Ionatana, Koloa Talake, Samuelu Teo, Lagitupu Tuilimu, Teagai Esekia and Teleke Peleti.
Voting against the motion were Prime Minister Paeniu, Alesana Seluka, Kokea Malua and Otinielu Tausi.