11 Oct 2004

New Tuvalu leader seeks stability

4:36 pm on 11 October 2004

The new prime minister of Tuvalu, Maatia Toafa, says political instability will be a thing of the past with his administration.

Earlier today, Mr Toafa was elected by 8 votes to 7 and was sworn in immediately.

Mr Toafa had been caretaker prime minister for more than a month after the former prime minister, Saufatu Sopo'aga, was ousted in a vote of no-confidence moved by the opposition while a government member was overseas seeking medical treatment.

But Mr Toafa says he is confident his support will remain stable because members have learnt their lesson that politicical instability harms development.

"Especially for a small country, very much dependant on assistance from the international community. Why? Because once they know we are in political turmoil, immediately they will hold back assistance just to wait and see what will happen next."

The new prime minister of Tuvalu, Maatia Toafa.