22 Dec 2010

Deposed Tuvalu Prime Minister says personal attacks behind his demise

2:50 pm on 22 December 2010

Tuvalu's deposed Prime Minister Maatia Toafa says trivial and personal matters are behind yesterday's vote of no-confidence in his government.

Parliament was dissolved after the Minister for Home Affairs, Willie Talavi, crossed the floor in an eight to seven vote which put Mr Toafa out of office barely three months after his election.

Mr Toafa says there was opposition to cost-cutting in his budget but his opponents also brought up an earlier debt he owed to the government.

"That was back in 2005 or 2004 and this was to do with the hiring of machinery, heavy equipment but that had been cleared already back in 2006. Like I said, very much personal, trivial matters which are unfounded."

Mr Toafa says his caucus is working on getting a new majority and it's likely they'll put forward his deputy Enele Sopoaga for Friday's vote for a new Prime Minister.