14 Oct 2003

Tuvalu prime minister gains support

5:12 am on 14 October 2003

The Prime Minister of Tuvalu has strengthened his control of the Government by extending his majority in the 15 seat parliament.

Saufatu Sopoanga says Parliament is to be called on November 4th after he had ignored weeks of demands to convene the body amid Opposition claims that it had the numbers to remove him from power.

But last week an Opposition member, Leti Pelesale, accepted a Cabinet post and the Prime Minister says the winner of Friday's by-election, Elisala Pita, has also committed to support the government.

He says on Saturday he travelled to Nukufetau where the by election was held and won Mr Pita's backing.