Tuvalu’s Opposition eyes top prize come July 30

By Robert Matau

Fri 26 Jul 2013

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Tuvalu’s opposition has one primary goal when they enter parliament on Tuesday, July 30 - to form a new Government.

After Opposition’s Pita Elisala won the Nukufetau Island by-election last month, the Opposition asked the Governor General Sir Italeli Iakoba to reconvene parliament so they can move a vote of no confidence and test their new majority of eight seats.

Iakoba approved a July 30 parliamentary sitting, the first since Tuvalu’s budget was passed in December last year.

“We are focusing our efforts now on getting into parliament as a majority and then moving a vote of no confidence as stipulated under the constitution,” Opposition member Taukelina Finikaso told Islands Business..

“We have met as a group this week and are confident that our numbers will remain intact.”

Opposition’s eighth MP Monise Lafai of Nanumaga is understood to be making his way to Funafuti for the July 30 session. Secretary to Government Panapasi Nelesoni confirmed the boat Manufolau was going to pick Lafai from his island and he is expected to arrive in the capital at the weekend.

Even with seven members Government faces an uphill task in defending its position with the absence of Education Minister Falesa Pitoi who fell ill last December whilst overseas. He has not set foot on Tuvalu since then and is believed to be recovering from the illness.

If he does not make it in time for the July 30 meeting, it will reduce the government number to six.

The next flight to Tuvalu will be on Tuesday the day of the meeting.

Finikaso said they would announce their choice for Prime Minister once they meet as a full group in parliament. Their current Opposition leader is Enele Sopoaga.

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