31 Jul 2013

Tuvalu in constitutional crisis, says opposition

4:10 pm on 31 July 2013

The opposition in Tuvalu says the country is in a constitutional crisis after the Speaker, Kamuta Latasi, adjourned parliament until a by-election is held for a government MP who resigned on Tuesday.

The adjournment came earlier today, the second day of the first session of parliament this year - one only called after the prime minister, Willie Telavi, was ordered to do so by the governor general.

The Opposition has had a majority of the 15 MPs since a recent by-election and had planned to call for a vote of no confidence in Mr Telavi.

An opposition spokesman, Taukelina Finikaso, says Mr Latasi has disregarded the law.

He says they are looking at various options.

"We are exploring options where we can look into the situation because this is clearly a constitutional crisis. We have on the government now four ministers plus the speaker and there's eight members on the opposition, and surely the government cannot be run by these four ministers only. And on top of that the speaker has deliberately and intentionally not agreed to abide by the rulings and the advice of the attorney general who is the legal advisor to parliament."

A Tuvalu opposition spokesman, Taukelina Finikaso