Tuvalu opposition relishes parliament recall
Tuvalu's Opposition confident it has numbers to remove government after Governor General uses special powers to order parliament to sit.
Tuvalu's opposition spokesperson says he is pleased the governor general has ordered parliament to sit at the end of the month.
The opposition, led by Enele Sopaga, asked the governor general to use his special powers to reconvene parliament after the opposition won a crucial by-election last Friday.
The spokesperson, Taukelina Finikaso, says the win means it now has eight seats, and the government has seven, and he believes the Prime Minister Willie Telavi has been delaying the no confidence motion on purpose.
He told Jamie Tahana the opposition will use the sitting to try and depose the government and end uncertainty in Tuvalu.
TAUKELINA FINIKASO: We were very happy with what the governor-general has done in appointing 30 July as the time parliament will sit. We have been looking forward to this for quite a while and we're very fortunate that the GG also sees it our way. The country has been in uncertainty for quite a while, in fact, about seven months. So it's a good turn that the governor general has done.
JAMIE TAHANA: And when parliament sits, as the opposition, are you guys planning to put forward that vote of no confidence?
TK: Yes, we will be tabling that motion for a vote of no confidence in the government on 30 July. So that is what we have agreed to do, since we command the majority of the house right now.
JT: And once it's tabled, what's the process after that?
TK: Well, if we bring down the government there will be a new election for a new prime minister then. And this will be chaired by the governor general also, so the governor general will also appoint a time where a meeting for the election of a new prime minister will be done. And that will be done within one week or just a few days. It'll be up to the governor general.
JT: Prime Minster Telavi, Willy Telavi, says he has support from a couple of opposition MPs and he expects to still have the numbers. What do you make of that?
TK: That may be his view, you know, but, to us, we have waited for such a long time over two years. And our group has been intact since that time. And with the addition of the replacement of the new members to be elected in the by-election, he has been mandated by his community to join the opposition, so he's with us now and he's joining us, made us into the major party now. We're becoming the majority. And we think that we're intact. And we feel that what the prime minister said, I think he's just trying to be brave in the face of what he'll be facing very soon in the next concession.
JT: This is the second time something like this has happened - a vote of no confidence has come up against the prime minister - in the past few years. Does there need to be some form of electoral change in Tuvalu?
TK: Well, I think we need to do some changes to the sessions that we have. Right now, under concession, there is only one requirement for a session to sit within the 12-month period, you know? And this is not good enough. So we need to change this. There's a few things that we have in mind to change. We need more parliament sessions and we need to amend a lot of electoral provisions acts so by-elections are done swiftly and not delayed, as the one we are faced with now. Instead of having a by-election in a month's time, it took us six months just to do a small by-election. So these are all the changes, the amendments, that we wish to put in if we get into government.
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