The position of Governor General is largely ceremonial. However the Governor General has constitutional responsibilities and reserve powers in relation to the ordering Parliament to convene and the appointment and dismissal of the Prime Minister of Tuvalu. The Governor-GeneralIakoba Italeli was called on to exercise the reserve powers when Prime Minister Willy Telavi refused to recall the Parliament of Tuvalu after the Nukufetau by-election, 2013. A constitutional crisis developed when Prime Minister Telavi responded that, under the Constitution, he was only required to convene Parliament once a year, and was thus under no obligation to summon it until December 2013. Tuvalu's opposition then requested the Governor-General to intervene against the Prime Minister's decision. On 3 July, Italeli exercised his reserve powers in ordering Parliament to convene, against the Prime Minister's wishes, on 30 July.
When the Parliament met on 30 July, the Speaker (Kamuta Latasi) refused to allow a debate on a no-confidence motion in the government of Willy Telavi. After further political maneuvers, the Governor-General, Iakoba Italeli, then proceeded to exercise his reserve powers to order Telavi to stand down as prime minister and appointed Enele Sopoaga as interim prime minister. The Governor-General also ordered that Parliament sit on Friday 2 August to allow a vote of no-confidence in Telavi and his government. Telavi then proceeded to write to Queen Elizabeth II (as the head of state of Tuvalu) informing her that he was dismissing Italeli from his position as Governor-General.
The constitutional crisis was resolved by a motion of no confidence in the government of Willy Tevali, which was held on 2 August 2013: the voting was eight for the motion, four against and one abstention. On 4 August the Parliament elected Enele Sopoaga as Prime Minister.
^ Sione stood for parliament after leaving his governor-general post.
^ The only governor-general not to accept a knighthood.