Opposition Increasingly Confident in Tuvalu
Pacific Beat, Radio Australia
The opposition party in Tuvalu is increasingly
optimistic about winning office after the balance of power swung
back to the them after winning one of the two seats in last weeks
The following transcript is from Radio Australia:
Presenter/Interviewer: Geraldine Coutts
Speaker: News editor of the Tuvalu Broadcasting Corporation, Melali
COUTTS: Prime Minister Saufatu Sopoanga's government is fighting for
survival. The Prime Minister has called a crisis caucus meeting, and is
not available to speak with Pacific Beat.
When the prime minister came to office in August last year he held a
majority of just one seat - eight MP's to the opposition's seven.
But after the recent by-elections of Nanumea and Niutao, the balance of
power edged back to the opposition, who now have a majority of eight
members to the governments seven.
Parliament was scheduled to elect a new Speaker last Friday. That
meeting was deferred until Saturday, but neither of the meetings took
The incoming member for Niutao managed to keep secret his allegiances
until this week. He has since declared that he will sit on the
opposition benches. The opposition now claim they have the numbers, and
the ability to form government.
News editor for the Tuvalu Broadcasting Corporation, Melali Taape, says
the opposition has now sent a letter to the Governor General, the Rt Hon
Sir Dr Tomasi Puapua calling on him to force the government to recall
TAAPE: "Since they have the majority they have formed the eight members,
now they have written to the Governor General for his advice and his
urgent action to select the speaker to the house of parliament.
"Actually they have selected in their own party they have selected a
member, but things can only be officially done with the Governor
General's presence and also because of what has been happening. But they
are ready; in their letter they said they are ready to form the
COUTTS: So the opposition are claiming that they have assigned
portfolios to the proposed ministerial lineup and are ready to form
TAAPE: "Yes they have, but I haven't received anything in formal from
them but I've heard they have."
COUTTS: News editor news for Tuvalu Broadcasting Corporation, Melali