GG appoints Sopoaga as Tuvalu’s caretaker PM

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By Robert Matau

Thu 01 Aug 2013

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IN a move that has escalated political tension on Tuvalu the Governor General and head of State has sent out a proclamation removing Prime Minister Willy Telavi from his office and appointing Opposition leader Enele Sopoaga as caretaker Prime Minister.

Governor General Sir Italeli Iakoba confirmed to Islands Business 20 minutes ago that his security officer and personal assistant had left his office to distribute the letters to all members of parliament including the Prime Minister and the Commissioner of Police.

Sir Italeli was countering a public announcement by Telavi on his plan to remove the Governor General.

“Up until now I have not received anything from Telavi so I have decided to use my own powers and make the proclamation,” Sir Italeli said.

“I have also sent a copy to the Attorney General.”

He declined to reveal further details of the letter.

Opposition member Taukelina Finikaso said Telavi made a public announcement today that he would be removing the Governor General.

“Now the GG as the head of a Commonwealth nation and the Queen’s representative of Tuvalu has the powers to uphold the constitution of Tuvalu which is what I believe the GG has done.

“If the Speaker of the House and the Government are not following the constitution, the people of Tuvalu will only be able to rely on the GG’s judgment on this matter and he has done so.

“We are awaiting our letters before we meet as an Opposition to decide the next step.”

Finikaso confirmed that Sopoaga would become caretaker Prime Minister.

Yesterday the Opposition had sent out a second petition to Sir Italeli after Speaker of the House Kamuta Latasi had refused to accommodate a motion on a vote of no confidence, which was on the agenda.

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