1 Aug 2013

Tuvalu Speaker defends adjournment for six weeks

4:34 am on 1 August 2013

The Speaker of Tuvalu says he adjourned Parliament because of a vacancy of one of the seats.

Parliament resumed on Tuesday for the first time this year after the Governor General ordered MPs back to the House.

Opposition MPs had hoped to raise a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister, Willy Telavi, who lost his majority earlier in the year after a by-election.

But the resignation of another MP on Tuesday has prompted a new by-election and Parliament has again been adjourned for six weeks.

The opposition says Kamuta Latasi has disregarded the advice of the Attorney-General, but Mr Latasi says the constitution does not allow for a no confidence vote if a constituency lacks a representative.

"If he is removed from Parliament he is removed by a two-thirds majority of the total membership. I have already acted on the advice of the Governor-General. The Governor-General has ordered that Parliament sit on the 30th of this month, which we sat yesterday. That order has been carried out by the Speaker of Parliament."

The Tuvalu Speaker, Kamuta Latasi.