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Kamuta Latasi

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Title: Kamuta Latasi  
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Subject: Cabinet of Tuvalu, Bikenibeu Paeniu, Parliament of Tuvalu, Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Iakoba Italeli
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Kamuta Latasi

The Right Honourable
Kamuta Latasi
Prime Minister of Tuvalu
In office
10 December 1993 – 24 December 1996
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Tomu Sione
Tulaga Manuella
Preceded by Bikenibeu Paeniu
Succeeded by Bikenibeu Paeniu
Speaker of the Parliament of Tuvalu
In office
24 December 2010 – 4 March 2014
Prime Minister Willy Telavi
Enele Sopoaga
Preceded by Isaia Italeli
Succeeded by Otinielu Tausi
In office
16 August 2006 – 29 September 2010
Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia
Preceded by Otinielu Tausi
Succeeded by Isaia Italeli
Acting Governor-General of Tuvalu
In office
19 March 2010 – 16 April 2010
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia
Preceded by Sir Filoimea Telito
Succeeded by Sir Iakoba Italeli
Personal details
Born 1936

Rt Hon Sir Kamuta Latasi KCMG, OBE, MP, PC (born 1936) is a political figure from the Pacific nation of Tuvalu from Funafuti atoll. Latasi served as the 4th Prime Minister of Tuvalu from 1993 until 1996. He has served as the Speaker of the Parliament of Tuvalu from 2006[1] to September 2010[2] and again from December 2010[3][4] to March 2014.[5] On 30 July 2013 during the attempts of the opposition to present an a no-confidence motion in the government of Willy Telavi, Kamuta Latasi refused to allow a debate on the motion.[6] Again on 2 August 2013 Willy Tevali faced a motion of no confidence, the voting was eight for the motion, four against and one abstention and Kamuta Latasi abstained for voting on the motion.[7]


  • Prime Minister of Tuvalu 1
  • Flag issue 2
  • Personal Background 3
  • Speaker of the Parliament of Tuvalu 4
  • Knighthood 5
  • Acting Governor-General 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Prime Minister of Tuvalu

The general election held on 25 November 1993 resulted in the members being evenly split in their support of the incumbent Prime Minister Bikenibeu Paeniu and the former Prime Minister Tomasi Puapua.[8] 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.[8] Kamuta Latasi was the prime minister until 24 December 1996. As the result of the vote on a motion of no confidence Kamuta Latasi resigned and Bikenibeu Paeniu was elected as prime minister for the second time. In the general election of 26 March 1998 Latasi lost his seat.[9]

While many Tuvaluan politicians tend to avoid organising themselves along partisan lines, Latasi is noted for his republican leanings, together with another former Prime Minister of Tuvalu, the late Ionatana Ionatana. These leanings for a while distanced Latasi somewhat from the constitutional link with the Crown.

Flag issue

During his premiership, Latasi controversially removed the Union Jack from the Flag of Tuvalu, replacing it with the flag pictured above. The flag was returned to the original in April 1997.

One notable issue during the premiership of Latasi was the question of the design of the national flag of Tuvalu, which included a British Union Jack, reduced in size.

In a manner which some Tuvaluans regarded as arbitrary, Latasi changed the flag to another design which omitted the Union Jack. Supporters of Latasi held that this measure symbolically distanced Tuvalu from the colonial period. This change, however, proved to be short-lived, since Latasi's successor (Bikenibeu Paeniu) implemented a reversion to the former design.

Personal Background

Sir Kamuta Latasi is a landowner and long-time politician. His wife Lady Naama Maheu Latasi was also a member of the Parliament of Tuvalu until she died on 16 March 2012.[10]

Speaker of the Parliament of Tuvalu

From 2006 to 2010, Latasi was the Speaker of the Parliament of Tuvalu. He was re-elected to Parliament by his constituency of Tuvalu in the 2010 general election.[11] On 4 March 2014, he was replaced as Speaker by Otinielu Tausi, with Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga stating that the government needed a Speaker who shared its general viewpoints. He thenceforth sat on the Opposition benches.[12][13]


Despite Latasi's republican stance he did accept several honours, including the KCMG in 2008.

Acting Governor-General

In 2010 Latasi was appointed acting Governor-General between the terms of Sir Filoimea Telito and Sir Iakoba Italeli. This was quite remarkable considering Latasi's republican tendencies.

See also


  1. ^ "". Apisai Ielemia New Prime Minister. 16 August 2006. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Tuvalu PM re-elected, seeks to form govt".  
  3. ^ "Current Members (including Ministers and Private Members)". The Parliament of Tuvalu. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Tuvalu’s new speaker", Islands Business, 4 March 2014
  6. ^ Cooney, Campbell (31 July 2013). "Tuvalu speaker blocks no-confidence motion". Australia News Network. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Cooney, Campbell (4 August 2013). "Tuvalu parliament elects new prime minister". Australia News Network. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Palamene o Tuvalu (Parliament of Tuvalu)". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 1993. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Palamene o Tuvalu (Parliament of Tuvalu)". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 1998. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "The first elected female Member of Parliament in Tuvalu, Lady Sapeta Naama Maheu Laatasi, laid to rest in Funafuti". Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau Newsletter (TPB: 01/2012). 2 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Tuvalu PM, speaker retain seats as deputy PM crashes out".  
  12. ^ Matau, Robert (4 March 2014). "Tuvalu's new speaker". Islands Business. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  13. ^ "Tuvalu PM says ousted speaker misinterpreted constitution". Radio New Zealand International. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 

External links

  • "Court Circular", The Times, 3 January 2008 (announcing Sir Kamuta's knighthood and accession to the Privy Council)
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