Tuvaluan general election, 2010

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A parliamentary election was held in Tuvalu on 16 September 2010.[1]

Voters elected fifteen members of the Parliament to a four-year term. All candidates were independents, as there are no political parties in the country. Ten out of the fifteen incumbent members were re-elected. The remaining five incumbents, including Deputy Prime Minister Tavau Teii, did not retain their seats.[2] The incumbent Prime Minister, Apisai Ielemia, retained his seat in Vaitupu constituency.[3] On 29 September, Maatia Toafa from Nanumea won eight of the fifteen votes to become Prime Minister.

However on 24 December 2010, after a motion of no confidence, carried by eight votes to seven,[4] Maatia Toafa was replaced by Willy Telavi as Prime Minister of Tuvalu.[5]

Main article: Politics of Tuvalu

Background[edit]

Parliament was dissolved on 13 August, and registration began on 28 August.[6] There are no political parties in Tuvalu, so all candidates are non-partisan.[7]

Twenty-six candidates, including all sitting Members of Parliament, stood for the fifteen seats in Parliament.[8] Tuvalu has "about 6,000 eligible voters" - a little over half the country's population.[9][10]

Many candidates focused on climate change issues including Enele Sopoaga, a former Tuvalu Ambassador to the United Nations and Tuvalu’s representative at the UN Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen in 2009.[11][12] Sopoaga stood for election in the Nukufetau constituency, and is reportedly considered a "national hero" for his diplomatic work at the Copenhagen Summit on climate change in December 2009.[12] Enele Sopoaga was elected by the voters of Nukufetau.

Controversy[edit]

Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia and Communications Minister Taukelina Finikaso, who are relatives, stood for election in the same Vaitupu constituency in the 2010 election.[7] (The top two vote earners in Vaitupu are elected to parliament). Finikaso filed a complaint against Ielemia prior to the election, accusing the Prime Minister of distributing voter registration forms before the official registration date.[7]

Results[edit]

There were 6,008 registered voters in the election, and voter turnout was reportedly strong.[13] Voting began at 8 a.m. and closed at 4 p.m. before counting commenced at the country's twelve polling stations.[14]

Results by constituency[edit]

Prime Minister Ielemia retained his seat to win re-election from his Vaitupu constituency.[13] Ielemia's re-election prospects had been thought to be tenuous before the election.[13]

In total, ten MPs were re-elected, including Speaker Kamuta Latasi, while five incumbent MPs — including deputy Prime Minister Tavau Teii — lost their seats.[12][13][15] The announcement that ten sitting MPs had been re-elected was made by Speaker Kamuta Latasi the following day.[2][16]

Candidates in boldface were elected:

Funafuti constituency results [17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-partisan Kausea Natano Symbol confirmed.svg 436 42.5%
Non-partisan Kamuta Latasi Symbol confirmed.svg 302 29.4%
Non-partisan Samuelu P Teo 289 28.1%
Nanumaga constituency results [17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-partisan Monise Lafai Symbol confirmed.svg 379 41.9%
Non-partisan Falesa Pitoi Symbol confirmed.svg 296 32.7%
Non-partisan Otinielu Tausi 230 25.4%
Nanumea constituency results [17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-partisan Maatia Toafa Symbol confirmed.svg 531 37.7%
Non-partisan Willy Telavi Symbol confirmed.svg 443 31.5%
Non-partisan Amuia Tapeva 434 30.8%
Niutao constituency results [17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-partisan Fauoa Maani Symbol confirmed.svg 314 24.5%
Non-partisan Vete Sakaio Symbol confirmed.svg 314 24.5%
Non-partisan Sir Tomu Sione 235 18.3%
Non-partisan Tavau Teii (incumbent Deputy P.M.) 218 17.0%
Non-partisan Iopu Iupasi 200 15.6%
Nui constituency results[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-partisan Isaia Italeli Symbol confirmed.svg 263 24.6%
Non-partisan Taom Tanukale Symbol confirmed.svg 246 23.0%
Non-partisan Seluka Seluka 203 19.0%
Non-partisan Iopu Iupasi 200 18.7%
Non-partisan Leneuoti Maatusi 159 14.8%
Nukufetau constituency results [17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-partisan Enele Sopoaga Symbol confirmed.svg 490  %
Non-partisan Lotoala Metia Symbol confirmed.svg 399  %
Non-partisan Elisala Pita 322  %
Nukulaelae constituency results [17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-partisan Namoliki Sualiki Symbol confirmed.svg 148  %
Non-partisan Vaefitu Paeniu 117  %
Vaitupu constituency results [17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-partisan Apisai Ielemia Symbol confirmed.svg 597  %
Non-partisan Taukelina Finikaso Symbol confirmed.svg 541  %
Non-partisan Ionatana Peia 403  %

Formation of new government[edit]

Speaker Latasi originally announced that all fifteen MPs will meet the following week to form a new government.[16] However, the election of a new Prime Minister was not be held until 29 September 2010.[18] Incumbent Apisai Ielemia, who became caretaker prime minister after the election, hoped to form a new government, though he ultimately did not have the support in the new parliament.[18] Enele Sopoaga was reported as being a possible challenger for the premiership.[11]

A secret ballot to determine the next prime minister was held on 29 September 2010.[3] Maatia Toafa, who had served as Prime Minister from 2004 to 2006 and the Leader of the Opposition from 2006 to 2010, won the ballot to become Tuvalu's next prime minister with five new members and three members of the previous government.[3][15] Toafa narrowly defeated Kausea Natano, who received seven votes in the ballot.[3] Toafa took office on the day of his election and named his Cabinet almost immediately. He included a number of first time MPs who had supported his bid for the premiership - including Enele Sopoaga, who became Minister for Foreign Affairs.[19][20] Isaia Taeia Italeli, the younger brother of Governor General Iakopa Taeia Italeli, became the speaker of parliament.[15]

However on 15 December 2010, Prime Minister Maatia Toafa's government was ousted in a motion of no confidence, which followed Willie Telavi withdrawing his support for the government.[4] On 25 December 2010 Willy Telavi was elected prime minister with an (8:7) majority in parliament that included the support of Enele Sopoaga. Kamuta Latasi, was appointed Speaker.[5][15]

Subsequent by-elections[edit]

Minister of Works Isaia Italeli died suddenly in July 2011,[21] which led to a by-election in the Nui constituency the following month. The election was won by his widow, Pelenike Isaia, who became only the second woman ever to have sat in the Tuvaluan Parliament.[15] The by-election was described as "pivotal", as Italeli's death had deprived Prime Minister Willy Telavi of his government's one seat majority in Parliament. Pelenike Isaia's election restored the one seat majority,[22] of the government of Willy Telavi.

Lotoala Metia, the MP for Nukufetau and Minister for Finance, died on 21 December 2012. The Nukufetau by-election, 2013 was held on 28 June.[23] The Nukufetau by-election was won by the opposition candidate Elisala Pita.[24] 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.[25] Tuvalu's opposition then requested the Governor-General Iakoba Italeli to intervene against the Prime Minister's decision.[26] On 3 July, Italeli exercised his reserve powers in ordering Parliament to convene, against the Prime Minister's wishes, on 30 July.[27] The government of Willy Telavi was dismissed on 2 August 2013 after a vote on a motion of no confidence and Enele Sopoaga was elected as Prime Minister.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tuvalu government focuses on needs of individual outer islands". Wellington: Radio New Zealand International. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Tuvalu PM returns, five new MPs elected", Pacific Islands News Association, 17 September 2010
  3. ^ a b c d "New Prime Minister for Tuvalu". Australia Network. 29 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-29. 
  4. ^ a b "Nominations open for new Tuvalu PM". Radio New Zealand International. 22 December 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Willie Telavi the new prime minister in Tuvalu". Radio New Zealand International. 24 December 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "Tuvalu Parliament to be dissolved tomorrow ahead of elections in five weeks". Radio New Zealand International. 12 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  7. ^ a b c Matau, Robert (2010). "Politics: Changing Leadership?". Islands Business. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  8. ^ "Tuvalu gears up for parliamentary elections". Radio New Zealand International. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Tuvalu goes to the polls", Agence France Presse, 16 September 2010.
  10. ^ "Tuvalu completes voting in national elections", Radio Australia, 16 September 2010.
  11. ^ a b "Tuvalu completes voting in national elections", Radio Australia, 16 September 2010
  12. ^ a b c "Elections à Tuvalu", Australian Broadcasting Corporation (French), 17 September 2010.
  13. ^ a b c d "Tuvalu PM, speaker retain seats as deputy PM crashes out". Radio Australia. 17 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  14. ^ "Tuvalu prepares for Friday national poll". Islands Business. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  15. ^ a b c d e "Palamene o Tuvalu (Parliament of Tuvalu)". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Tuvalu PM re-elected, seeks to form govt". Sydney Morning Herald. 17 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h Cannon, Brian (16 September 2010). "Tuvalu Election Results". Tuvalu News (Tuvaluislands.com). Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  18. ^ a b "Tuvaluan Prime Minister to be named Wednesday". Radio Australia. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  19. ^ "New-look government for Tuvalu". Radio New Zealand International. 29 September 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  20. ^ "New Tuvalu PM Maatia Toafa names cabinet", ABC Radio Australia, 29 September 2010
  21. ^ "Samoa police rule out foul play in death of Tuvalu minister". Radio New Zealand International. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  22. ^ "Tuvalu Government set to retain power", Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 24 August 2011
  23. ^ "Tuvalu’s former PM Sopoaga has another shot". Islands Business. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  24. ^ "Tuvalu’s Opposition waiting to hear from GG". Islands Business. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  25. ^ "Parliament needs one yearly meeting only says defiant Tuvalu PM". Radio New Zealand International. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  26. ^ Coutts, Geraldine (2 July 2013). "Tuvalu opposition demands parliament be allowed to sit after weekend by-election". Radio Australia. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  27. ^ "Tuvalu’s parliament convenes July 30". Islands Business. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 

External links[edit]