26 Aug 2004

Tuvalu opposition scrambles to form government

7:08 am on 26 August 2004

The former opposition in Tuvalu is scrambling to form a new government after a vote of no confidence ousted the Prime Minister Saufatu Sopoanga.

The motion was put forward by the opposition leader, Apisai Ielemia.

A government member, Elisala Pita crossed the floor and voted with the opposition boosting their numbers to nine in the 15-member house.

It's understood that the Speaker, Otinielu Tauteleimalae Tausi also supported the opposition motion.

The government received just five votes because one of its members, Sio Patiale was away in New Zealand for medical reasons.

Immediately after the vote, former opposition members went into a closed-door session to discuss the formation of a new government.