Tuvalu News

New Government, PM Willy Telavi Sworn in after No Confidence Vote

Dec 29, 2010

Tuvalu has a new Cabinet and the government has been sworn in.

On December 24th , Willie Telavi won a vote to become the new Prime Minister after his predecessor was ousted in a no confidence vote at the beginning of last week.

Maatia Toafa was only elected to the post of Prime Minister in late September, but Mr Telavi, then his home affairs minister, withdrew his support. He joined the opposition and enabled it to bring down the government through a motion of no confidence, carrying it by eight votes to seven.

The motion was reportedly initiated due to MPs' concerns over certain aspects of the budget, in particular the prospect that the government may no longer fully fund medical costs for patients that had to get treatment abroad.

Details of who got new ministerial portfolios has not been reported yet.

A Cabinet meeting is expected to be held later this week, but at this stage the first sitting of parliament for 2011 has not been confirmed.

Telavi is from Nanumea. His career in the Tuvalu Police Force culminated in his appointment as Police Commissioner in 1993, a position he held for sixteen years. He earned a degree in legal studies from the University of the South Pacific in 1999 and a master's degree in international management from Northern Territory University in 2000.

Mr. Telavi ran for the Parliament in 2006 and was elected as one of the two members to serve the constituency of Nanumea, the northernmost island. The government of Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia came to office following the election, and Telavi was appointed Minister for Home Affairs.

He retained his seat in Parliament in the 2010 general election, and was appointed Minister for Home Affairs in the Cabinet of the new Prime Minister, Maatia Toafa.


Source: Radio New Zealand, AFP, Facebook

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