Tuvalu News

Tuvalu's Prime Minister optimistic his government will be stable

October 6, 2010

Maatia Toafa says his government was elected because people wanted change. [Tuvalu Government]

Last Updated: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 10:59:00 +1100

Tuvalu's new Prime Minister Maatia Toafa says he's hoping his government will be a stable one.

Mr Toafa was ousted by a vote of no confidence the last time he was Prime Minister from 2004 until 2006.

Last week, he was voted in as Tuvalu's leader in a secret ballot by the 15 members of parliament.

Tuvalu went to the polls last month and five of the MPs who were voted in are serving their first term.

Mr Toafa has told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program he believes his government this time around will be more stable, but he says politics can be very unpredictable.

He says his government was probably elected because his nation's people wanted a change.

"The government in opposition is of course the government in waiting.

"But I think what had happened is that the people wish, is what I believe, they want a change because of what they have witnessed through the past four years, maybe to do with the government's handling of the affairs of the country.

"But then again, the people may want a change for the better."

Mr Toafa has included a climate change portfolio in the new cabinet.

Relocating not ideal

Former Prime Ministers of Tuvalu in the past have asked countries such as Australia if they can help resettle its people because of concerns about the rising sea levels due to impact of climate change.

But Mr Toafa says he doesn't think resettlement of Tuvaluans would be a good idea.

"I don't think resettlement is an idea. It may be an option available to us, but as leaders I think we need to meet this challenge, he said.

"We should be able to say to the country identity is very important, you have your people, the same land and your culture."

"One we are to relocate meaning we lose out on the land, which is a very important component of anyone's identity."

Source: Radio Australia

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