Sir Iakoba Italeli
|Governor-General of Tuvalu|
16 April 2010
|Prime Minister||Apisai Ielemia
|Preceded by||Kamuta Latasi|
|Member of the Tuvaluan Parliament
3 August 2006 – 16 September 2010
|Preceded by||Taom Tanukale|
|Succeeded by||Taom Tanukale|
Sir Iakoba Taeia Italeli, GCMG, is a former attorney general of Tuvalu (2002–2006). He is a graduate of International Maritime Law Institute at the University of Malta (2001). He represented the Nui district in the Parliament of Tuvalu from 2006 to 2010. He was appointed to the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George as a Knight Grand Cross (GCMG) on 21 June 2010 and took up the role as the Governor-General of Tuvalu on 16 April 2010. He is married to Lady Italeli.
Italeli was first elected in the Tuvaluan general election, 2006. From 2006 to 2010 he was Minister of Education and Sports, and Health, in the government of the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Apisai Ielemia. He remained as minister until 2010; when he was appointed as governor-general.
Italeli was elected to represent Nui in the Parliament of Tuvalu on a non-partisan basis; this lack of alignment is not unusual in the politics of Tuvalu; unusually for Tuvalu, Italeli represented a constituency where trilingualism is a feature, since many inhabitants of Nui originate from Kiribati, and thus speak Gilbertese, in addition to Tuvaluan and English, the fluency of which varies among local people.
His younger brother, Isaia Italeli, was elected to Parliament, also as MP for Nui, in the September 2010 general election, and subsequently became Speaker, then Minister for Works and Natural Resources.
In 2013, Italeli faced a political crisis when Prime Minister Willy Telavi's government lost a crucial by-election on 28 June and thereby lost its majority in parliament. The opposition thereafter held a majority of seats (eight to seven) and immediately called for the Prime Minister to advise that parliament be reconvened. Telavi responded that, under the constitution, parliament was required to convene only once a year and he was thus under no obligation to advise the Governor-General to summon it until December 2013. The opposition turned to Italeli and, on 3 July, he exercised his reserve powers by summoning parliament, against the Prime Minister's wishes, on 30 July. With only five members of the governing party and eight members of the opposition party in the legislature, the Speaker of the Parliament, Kamuta Latasi, still refused to allow a vote of non-confidence and Taom Tanukale, a member of Telavi's party, resigned his seat in parliament, prompting Telavi to assert that no confidence vote should be held until a by-election was conducted in Tanukale's district, but without giving a date for such an election. The opposition subsequently appealed again to the Governor-General, who then, on 1 August, replaced Telavi with the former opposition leader Enele Sopoaga as prime minister and ordered that parliament sit until 2 August to allow for the vote of non-confidence regarding Telavi's government to take place. On the same day, Telavi declared he had written to Elizabeth II, the Queen of Tuvalu, advising her to replace Italeli as governor general and that Italeli "had been fired". The Queen gave no indication of her reaction to Telavi's letter, leaving Italeli's position secure.
|Governor General of Tuvalu
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