24 Jun 2003

Tuvalu has new speaker

6:14 am on 24 June 2003

Tuvalu has a new speaker of parliament.

He is opposition MP, Faimalaga Luka.

The opposition leader, Amasone Kilei, says the prime minister, Saufatu Sopoanga, must call for a parliamentary session immediately so that the two MPs elected during the May by-elections can be sworn in.

Mr Kilei says Mr Sopoanga is stalling because he lacks a parliamentary majority and knows that he will be ousted in a no confidence vote proposed by the opposition.

He says now that Tuvalu has a speaker, the prime minister will be under pressure to call parliament.

"The speaker, the Honourable Faimalaga Luka, can convene parliament if three months after a by-election no session is called for by the government we believe that he has power to convene parliament because after that by-election two new members were elected and these new members have to be sworn in."

Amasone Kilei