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Apisai Ielemia

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Title: Apisai Ielemia  
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Apisai Ielemia

Apisai Ielemia
Prime Minister of Tuvalu
In office
14 August 2006 – 29 September 2010
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Filoimea Telito
Kamuta Latasi
Iakoba Italeli
Preceded by Maatia Toafa
Succeeded by Maatia Toafa
Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Environment, Trade, Labour and Tourism
In office
24 December 2010 – 2 August 2013
Prime Minister Willy Telavi
Preceded by Enele Sopoaga (Foreign Affairs, Environment and Labour)
Succeeded by to be determined
Personal details
Born (1955-04-19) 19 April 1955
Spouse(s) Sikinala Ielemia[1]

Apisai Ielemia (born 19 August 1955) is a Tuvaluan politician. He served as the tenth Prime Minister of Tuvalu from 2006 to 2010, and was returned as a member of parliament in the general election of 2010.[2]


Ielemia was elected to serve in the Parliament of Tuvalu by the constituency of Vaitupu on a non-partisan basis: his lack of alignment is not unusual in the politics of Tuvalu, since political parties have not emerged in the country.

Prime Minister of Tuvalu

In general elections held on 3 August 2006 prime minister Maatia Toafa's government was defeated and Ielemia was elected by the new parliament on 14 August to become the new prime minister.[3][4] He also became foreign minister.

Ielemia has continued Tuvalu's pursuit of close relations with the Republic of China, and in December 2007 visited that country, where various bilateral issues were addressed. He gained a higher international profile during the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen by highlighting the dangers of rising sea levels.[5] In September 2008 Ielemia and the President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, attended a conference to improve relations with Cuba.[6]

Prospects for stability

In a country which had in recent years seen frequent changes of government through the use of the parliamentary no confidence device, Ielemia's government, in office since 2006, seemed at the beginning of 2009 to offer somewhat of a rarity: the prospect of a government of Tuvalu running its full course. Prior to Ielemia's appointment as Prime Minister, the average length of Prime Ministerial terms of office had been considerably shorter; this history underscored the relative stability of his government, and by extension, the underlying parliamentary system which supported it.

Ielemia was one of 10 MPs who were re-elected to parliament in the 2010 general election.[5]

Government members

As of September 2006, the government of Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia consisted of the following members:[4]

Subsequent political career

Apisai Ielemia and Sikinala Ielemia with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama (2009)

Following the general election held on 16 September 2010 Maatia Toafa was elected as prime minister with the support of five new members of parliament and three members that had supported Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia, this resulted in an 8:7 majority in the parliament.[7]

However, on December 15, 2010, Prime Minister Maatia Toafa's government was ousted in a vote of no confidence, and Willy Telavi was elected to the premiership by a slender majority in Parliament (8:7).[7][8] Ielemia was among Telavi's supporters, and was appointed to Telavi's Cabinet as Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Environment, Trade, Labour and Tourism.[9]

Following Prime Minister Telavi's removal by Governor General Sir Iakoba Italeli on 1 August 2013 in the context of a political crisis (Telavi had sought to govern without the support of Parliament), Ielemia and the rest of Cabinet were voted out of office a day later following the no confidence motion.[10]

See also

Preceded by
Maatia Toafa
Prime Minister of Tuvalu
Succeeded by
Maatia Toafa


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ "Cuba-Pacific ministerial meeting underway in Havana", ABC Radio Australia, 17 September 2008
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Tuvalu – Heads of Government Listing", Australian Department of Foreign Affairs
  10. ^ "Tuvalu opposition votes out government", Radio New Zealand International, 2 August 2013

External links

  • "A threat to our human rights: Tuvalu's perspective on climate change", Apisai Ielemia, UN Chronicle, June 2007
  • Tuvalu News: Article regarding appointment of Ielemia's government in 2006
  • East West Center: Article regarding Ielemia's Taiwan visit, December 2007
Political offices
Preceded by
Maatia Toafa
Prime Minister of Tuvalu
Succeeded by
Maatia Toafa
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