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Cabinet of Tuvalu

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Cabinet of Tuvalu

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Tuvalu

The Cabinet of Tuvalu is the executive branch of the government of Tuvalu.

It is drawn from, and responsible to, the legislative branch, the monocameral Palamene o Tuvalu. After every legislative election, Members of Parliament (MPs) elect one of their own as Prime Minister. The latter then chooses his ministers among the MPs, to form a Cabinet. (Officially, ministers are appointed by the monarch, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister.) Initially, the Constitution provided that the number of members of Cabinet (excluding the Prime Minister) must not be higher than one third of the number of Members of Parliament. This, however, was amended by the Constitution of Tuvalu (Amendment) Act 2007, which provides that up to half of the Members of Parliament may be appointed to Cabinet (in addition to the Prime Minister). There are currently 15 MPs.[1][2]

As there are no political parties in Tuvalu, and MPs are independent members representing the interest of their constituency, the Prime Minister is traditionally careful to appoint MPs from different parts of the country as his Cabinet members.[1]

The Constitution of Tuvalu states that the Cabinet is responsible to Parliament. The latter may dismiss it through a vote of no confidence.[3][4]

Current Cabinet

On 1 August 2013, Governor-General of Tuvalu Sir Iakoba Italeli made an unprecedented use of his reserve powers in removing Prime Minister Willy Telavi from office. Telavi had lacked a parliamentary majority since December 2012, and had long delayed any sitting of Parliament. On 31 July, his ally Speaker Kamuta Latasi had prevented the Opposition from tabling a motion of no confidence in the Telavi government, and had suspended Parliament's sitting. This led Italeli to intervene, removing Telavi from power and appointing Opposition Leader Enele Sopoaga as interim Prime Minister.[5] On 4 August 2013, Sopoaga won a ballot to elect a new prime minister by 8 votes to 5.[6] He was sworn in and appointed his ministers to the cabinet a day later.[6]

Portfolio Minister Constituency Notes
Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga Nukufetau
Deputy Prime Minister Vete Sakaio Niutao Office held alongside Minister for Public Utilities.
Minister for Communications and Transport Monise Lafai Nanumaga
Minister for Public Utilities Vete Sakaio Niutao Office held alongside Deputy Prime Minister.
Minister for Education, Youth, Sport and Health Fauoa Maani Niutao
Minister for the Environment, Foreign Affairs, Labour and Trade Taukelina Finikaso Vaitupu
Minister for Finance and Economic Development Maatia Toafa Nanumea
Minister for Works and Natural Resources Elisala Pita Nukufetau
Minister for Home Affairs and Rural Development Namoliki Sualiki Nukulaelae

Cabinets 2006-2013

Telavi Cabinet (2010–2013)

In December 2010, Willy Telavi, Minister for Home Affairs in the Toafa Cabinet, crossed the floor, joined the opposition and enabled it to bring down the government led by Maatia Toafa through a vote of no confidence,which was carried by eight votes to seven.[7] On 24 December, Telavi was elected to be the new Prime Minister, defeating Environment Minister Enele Sopoaga (who was supported by Maatia Toafa) by another 8-7 vote.[8]

Telavi appointed his Cabinet on that same day, Christmas Eve.[9][10]

Portfolio Minister Constituency Notes
Prime Minister Willy Telavi Nanumea Held office of Minister for Home Affairs from December 2010 to July 2011.
Held office of Minister for Works and Natural Resources from July 2011 to August 2013.
Deputy Prime Minister Kausea Natano Funafuti Office held alongside Minister for Communications, Transport and Public Utilities[11]
Minister for Communications, Transport and Public Utilities Kausea Natano Funafuti Office held alongside Deputy Prime Minister.[11]
Minister for Education, Youth and Sport Dr. Falesa Pitoi Nanumaga Inactive from role due to illness from December 2012.
Minister for the Environment, Foreign Affairs, Labour, Trade and Tourism Apisai Ielemia Vaitupu Tourism portfolio no longer appeared in a later list.[12]
Minister for Finance Lotoala Metia Nukufetau Office held until death from December 2010 to December 2012.
Vacant No successor announced following death of incumbent in December 2012.
Minister for Health Taom Tanukale Nui Office held from December 2010 to July 2013.
Vacant No successor announced following resignation of incumbent in July 2013.
Minister for Works and Natural Resources Isaia Italeli Nui Office held until death in July 2011.[12]
Willy Telavi Nanumea Office held from July 2011 to August 2013.
Minister for Home Affairs Willy Telavi Nanumea Office held from December 2010 to July 2011.
Pelenike Isaia Nui Office held from July 2011 to August 2013.

Isaia Italeli, Minister for Works and Natural Resources, died suddenly on 19 July 2011, while attending a regional meeting in Apia, Samoa.[13] In August, his widow, Pelenike Isaia, was elected to his seat in Parliament in a by-election in the constituency of Nui, thereby saving the government's parliamentary majority. She was subsequently appointed to Cabinet - not as Minister for Works, but as Minister for Home Affairs. She is the second woman in Parliament, and in Cabinet, in Tuvalu's history.[11]

On 21 December 2012, Finance Minister Lotoala Metia died in turn, in hospital, of unspecified causes.[14] The by-election caused by his death would decide the future of the Telavi government, reduced by his death (once again) to a parity of seven seats apiece with the Opposition in Parliament.[15] The government succeeded in postponing it until 28 June, whereupon it was won by Opposition candidate Elisala Pita, with two thirds of the vote.[16]

On 30 July 2013, as the government was about to face a motion of no confidence, Health Minister Taom Tanukale unexpectedly resigned from Parliament (and thus also from the government) altogether. With Metia dead, Education Minister Falesa Pitoi ill and outside the country since December 2012, and Tanukale having resigned, this left Telavi with only three active government ministers other than himself: Deputy Prime Minister Kausea Natano, Foreign Affairs Minister Apisai Ielemia, and Home Affairs Minister Pelenike Isaia; he also had the support of the Speaker. (There were no government backbenchers.)[17] The following day, the reason for Tanukale's resignation became apparent. The Speaker, Kamuta Latasi, rejected the Opposition's attempt to table a motion of no confidence, on the grounds that there was now a vacant seat in Parliament. Latasi adjourned Parliament, and ruled that it would not reconvene until a by-election had been held - thus prolonging Telavi's minority government once more.[18] However, a day later on 1 August 2013, the Governor-General and head of state, Sir Iakoba Italeli, sent out a proclamation removing Telavi from office as Prime Minister, and appointing Opposition Leader Enele Sopoaga as interim Prime Minister.[5] Telavi had reportedly announced his intention of removing Italeli as Governeor-General. Opposition spokesman Taukelina Finikaso praised Italeli for having "uph[e]ld the constitution", since Telavi had lacked a parliamentary majority with which to govern.[5]

His cabinet lasted officially until 2 August 2013, when it was formally voted out of office by the opposition.[19]

2nd Toafa Cabinet (2010)

This short-lived Cabinet was appointed by Prime Minister Maatia Toafa on 29 September 2010, following the general election on 16 September. It included a number of first time MPs, who had supported Toafa in his bid for the premiership. Sopoaga's appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs was described as a clear sign of the importance the government placed on climate change issues within its foreign policy.[20][21]

Portfolio Minister Constituency Notes
Prime Minister Maatia Toafa Nanumea Was previously Prime Minister from 2004 to 2006
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs,
the Environment and Labour
Enele Sopoaga Nukufetau First time MP
Diplomat; renowned as Tuvalu's
"climate change negotiator"; reportedly
a "national hero"[22]
Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Namoliki Sualiki Nukulaelae Former teacher
Minister of Finance Monise Laafai Nanumaga First time MP
Businessman
Minister of Health Fauoa Maani Niutao First time MP
Former journalist and clerk to Parliament
Minister of Works and Natural resources Vete Sakaio Niutao First time MP
Civil engineer
Minister of Communication, Transport and Fisheries Taukelina Finikaso Vaitupu Former Minister of Communication, Transport and Tourism
Minister of Home Affairs Willy Telavi Nanumea Former Minister of Home Affairs and Rural Development

Ielemia Cabinet (2006–2010)

Following the 2006 general election Apisai Ielemia was elected as prime minister. His cabinet consisted of the following members:[23]

Portfolio Minister Constituency Notes
Prime Minister;
Foreign Minister
Apisai Ielemia Vaitupu
Deputy Prime Minister;
Minister for Natural Resources and the Environment
Tavau Teii Niutao
Minister for Communications Taukelina Finikaso Vaitupu Initially appointed Minister of Communications and Works.[23]
Subsequently appointed Minister for Communications, Transport and Tourism.
Minister for Education, Sports and Health Iakoba Taeia Italeli Nui
Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Lotoala Metia Nukufetau
Minister for Home Affairs and Rural Development Willy Telavi Nanumea
Minister for Public Utilities and Industries Kausea Natano Funafuti

Cabinets 2002-2006

1st Toafa Cabinet (2004–2006)

Maatia Toafa succeeded Saufatu Sopoanga as prime minister. Sopoanga resigned from Parliament on 27 August 2004, after his government was deposed in a vote of no confidence. Toafa, who was Deputy Prime Minister at the time, became Acting Prime Minister. Toafa was confirmed as Prime Minister on 11 October 2004, when Sopoanga was reelected to Parliament and Parliament reconvened to elect a new Prime Minister.[24] Toafa also became Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Cabinet to be added

Sopoanga Cabinet (2002–2004)

Following the 202 general election, on 2 August 2002 Saufatu Sopoanga, who had been Minister of Finance in the previous administration, was elected Prime Minister.[25] The Deputy Prime Minister was Maatia Toafa.

Cabinet to be added

Cabinets 1998-2002

Talake Cabinet (2001–2002)

Koloa Talake became Prime Minister on 14 December 2001, after his predecessor Faimalaga Luka had been ousted by Parliament in a motion of no confidence. This was Talake's Cabinet just prior to the July 2002 general election, in which Talake lost his seat in Parliament:[26]

Portfolio Minister Constituency Notes
Prime Minister Koloa Talake Vaitupu
Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Saufatu Sopoanga Nukufetau
Minister for Education and Health Alesana Seluka Nui
Minister for Internal Affairs and Local Government Otinielu Tausi Nanumaga Deputy Prime Minister in the Kamuta Latasi government (1993–96).
Minister for Natural Resources Samuelu Teo Niutao
Minister for Works, Energy and Communications Koke Malua Nanumea

Luka Cabinet (2001)

Faimalaga Luka became the prime minister on 24 February 2001 until he was replaced by Koloa Talake after a vote of no confidence on 14 December 2001.

Cabinet to be added

Tuilimu Cabinet (2000-2001)

Lagitupu Tuilimu was acting prime minister from 8 December 2000 to 24 February 2001.

Cabinet to be added

Ionatana Cabinet (1998-2000)

Ionatana Ionatana was elected as prime minister following the resignation of Bikenibeu Paeniu following a vote of no confidence on 27 April 1999. Ionatana died on 8 December 2000.

Cabinet to be added

3rd Paeniu Cabinet (1998-1999)

Following the 1998 general election, Bikenibeu Paeniu was re-elected prime minister on 8 April 1998;[27] The Deputy Prime Minister was Kokeiya Malua. Bikenibeu Paeniu remained as prime minister until he resigned following a vote of no confidence on 27 April 1999.

Cabinet to be added

Cabinets 1993-1998

2nd Paeniu Cabinet (1996-1998)

Bikenibeu Paeniu was elected as prime minister for the second time following the resignation of Kamuta Latasi as the result of a vote of no confidence on 24 December 1996.

Cabinet to be added

Latasi Cabinet (1993-1996)

The general election was held on 2 September 1993. In the subsequent parliament the members were evenly split in their support of the incumbent Prime Minister Bikenibeu Paeniu and the former Prime Minister Tomasi Puapua.[28]

As a consequence, the Governor-General dissolved the parliament on 22 September and a further election took place on 25 November 1993. The subsequent parliament elected Kamuta Latasi as prime minister on 10 December 1993, with a 7:5 majority over the group a members of parliament headed by former Prime Minister Bikenibeu Paeniu.[28] The Deputy Prime Minister was Otinielu Tausi.

Cabinet to be added

Cabinets 1977-1993

1st Paeniu Cabinet (1989-1993)

Following the 1989 general election Bikenibeu Paeniu was subsequently elected as Prime Minister, with a five-member Cabinet formed on 16 October 1989.[29]

Cabinet to be added

2nd Puapua Cabinet (1985-1989)

The general election was held on 12 September 1985, with nine members re-elected including Prime Minister Tomasi Puapua and Finance Minister Henry Naisali. On 21 September, Tomasi Puapua was re-elected as Prime Minister; he subsequently appointed a five-member Cabinet.[30]

Cabinet to be added

1st Puapua Cabinet (1981-1985)

The first elections after independence will not held until 8 September 1981. Dr. Tomasi Puapua, was elected as prime minister with a 7:5 majority over the group a members of parliament headed by former Prime Minister Toaripi Lauti.[31]

Cabinet to be added

Lauti Cabinet (1977-1981)

Following the result of the Ellice Islands self-determination referendum, 1974, the Tuvaluan Order 1975, which took effect on 1 October 1975, recognised Tuvalu as a separate British dependency with its own government.[32]

Elections to the House of Assembly of the British Colony of Tuvalu were held on 27 August 1977; with Toaripi Lauti being appointed Chief Minister in the House of Assembly of the Colony of Tuvalu on 1 October 1977. The House of Assembly was dissolved in July 1978 with the government of Toaripi Lauti continuing as a caretaker government until the 1981 elections were held.[31] Toaripi Lauti became the first Prime Minister of the Parliament of Tuvalu or Palamene o Tuvalu on 1 October 1978 when Tuvalu became an independent nation.[33][34]

Cabinet to be added

References

  1. ^ a b "Tuvalu country brief", Australian Department of Foreign Affairs
  2. ^ Constitution of Tuvalu (Amendment) Act 2007
  3. ^ "The Constitution of Tuvalu". PACLII. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Constitution of Tuvalu". Tuvalu Islands. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "GG appoints Sopoaga as Tuvalu’s caretaker PM", Islands Business, 1 August 2013
  6. ^ a b Matau, Robert (5 August 2013). "Enele Sopoaga sworn-in today as Tuvalu’s new PM". Islands Business. 
  7. ^ "Nominations open for new Tuvalu PM".  
  8. ^ "Willie Telavi the new prime minister in Tuvalu".  
  9. ^ "New Tuvalu government sworn in", Radio New Zealand International, 29 December 2010
  10. ^ Tuvalu: Cabinet, Central Intelligence Agency
  11. ^ a b c "Composition du gouvernement des îles Tuvalu", French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, 23 September 2011
  12. ^ a b "Current Members (including Ministers and Private Members)", Parliament of Tuvalu
  13. ^ "Samoa police rule out foul play in death of Tuvalu minister".  
  14. ^ "Tuvalu Minister dies in Suva", Islands Business, 24 December 2012
  15. ^ "Political future of Tuvalu’s PM awaits decision of by-election in Nukufetau", Islands Business, 10 January 2013
  16. ^ "Tuvalu’s Opposition waiting to hear from GG", Islands Business, 1 July 2013
  17. ^ "Tuvalu govt bombshells", Islands Business, 30 July 2013
  18. ^ "Tuvalu in constitutional crisis, says opposition", Radio New Zealand International, 31 July 2013
  19. ^ "Tuvalu opposition votes out government", Radio New Zealand International, 2 August 2013
  20. ^ "New-look government for Tuvalu".  
  21. ^ "New Tuvalu PM Maatia Toafa names cabinet", ABC Radio Australia, 29 September 2010
  22. ^ "Elections à Tuvalu", Australian Broadcasting Corporation (in French)
  23. ^ a b "Tuvalu-news.tv". Apisai Ielemia New Prime Minister. 16 August 2006. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  24. ^ "Palamene o Tuvalu (Parliament of Tuvalu)". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 2006. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  25. ^ "Palamene o Tuvalu (Parliament of Tuvalu)". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 2002. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  26. ^ "Preliminary Election Results - P.M. Talake Voted Out", Tuvalu Online, 26 July 2002
  27. ^ "Palamene o Tuvalu (Parliament of Tuvalu)". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 1998. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  28. ^ a b "Palamene o Tuvalu (Parliament of Tuvalu)". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 1993. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  29. ^ "Palamene o Tuvalu (Parliament of Tuvalu)". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 1989. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  30. ^ "Palamene o Tuvalu (Parliament of Tuvalu)". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 1985. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  31. ^ a b "Palamene o Tuvalu (Parliament of Tuvalu)". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 1981. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  32. ^ Tito Isala, Hugh Larcy (ed) (1983). "Chapter 20, Secession and Independence". Tuvalu: A History. University of the South Pacific/Government of Tuvalu. p. 169. 
  33. ^ Enele Sapoaga, Hugh Larcy (ed) (1983). "Chapter 19, Post-War Development". Tuvalu: A History. University of the South Pacific/Government of Tuvalu. pp. 146–152. 
  34. ^ Tito Isala, Hugh Larcy (ed) (1983). "Chapter 20, Secession and Independence". Tuvalu: A History. University of the South Pacific/Government of Tuvalu. pp. 153–177. 
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