Tuvalu PM loses vote of no-confidence
The prime minister of Tuvalu, one of the world's smallest nations, has lost his
job after losing a confidence motion, clerk of parliament Lily Saavae said.
Prime Minister Saufatu Sopo'anga, who held office for two years, was Wednesday
defeated eight to six in the 15-seat assembly which meets occasionally in a
community hall, she told AFP. Another MP was absent.
Saavae said parliament had adjourned and would reconvene after the opposition
caucus, led by Apisai Ielemia, had decided on a new candidate for the
Sopo'anga, now caretaker premier, told Radio New Zealand International he was
hopeful of keeping the job as one of his members had voted with the opposition.
"The reason the number was such was that we had one of our members away," he
said, saying his side could win that MP's support along with the man who voted
with the opposition.
Tuvalu, between Australia and Hawaii, is a nation of 11,000 people occupying 26
sq km of atoll land.
It has eight clans (Tuvalu means "eight together") living on nine atolls.
Formally the Ellice Islands it became independent from Britain in 1978.
It has no formal political parties and in the last decade has had five prime
ministers. Politics are almost all personality and clan based with few major
The low lying nation faces a questionable future in the face of possible
sea-level rise but in February when extra high tides flooded the main atoll
Funafuti, Sopo'anga said the nation would not disappear.
"As long as Tuvalu is above sea water there will be people staying here. We will
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