Tuvalu News


PM Confident Of Winning More Support
Tuesday: June 7, 2005

Tuvalu Prime Minister, Maatia Toafa has spoken out for the first time after the resignation of one of his key allies, Sio Patiale, who is on dialysis treatment in New Zealand.

He said the resignation was in the “interest of the nation” despite the fact that he lost a crucial vote, which gave him a slim majority in parliament.

“It is not only good for the nation but also for himself so he could concentrate on his illness.” Mr Toafa told regional journalists in Funafuti yesterday.

“Politically we need stability and I’m glad that the by-election has been scheduled for 15 June. So hopefully things will come out right.

Last week, another by-election on the island of Nui was held after the death of former diplomat and opposition member, Amasone Kilei. It was won by Taom Tanukale. He is yet to declare who he supports -the opposition or government.

“We want the new member of Nui on our side. If that will happen then we will have a 9-6, which is a more comfortable majority.” PM Toafa said.

Meanwhile, Tuvalu is this week hosting the annual meeting of Forum Economic Ministers (FEMM).

Prime Minister Toafa said his small island nation was privileged to host a regional meeting.

“We see this opportunity as a way of helping the economy by way tourists. I believe that 70 – 80 delegates is quite a lot for Tuvalu. I thank all my other colleagues for allowing Tuvalu to host this years meeting especially the finance and economic ministers.

“I think that the agenda of FEMM is an interesting one - “Cost of doing business in the island countries.” We know that the cost of doing business in our island countries is exorbitant.

“In Tuvalu the cost of electricity and power is very expensive, probably the most expensive in the Pacific.

“I hope outcomes from the FEMM deliberation would look seriously at the issue and come up with ways of trying to harmonise all this to enable us to adopt this whatever options available for us in order to be able to cut back on these costs.”…PNS


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