29 Sep 2010

New-look government for Tuvalu

8:05 pm on 29 September 2010

The Tuvalu Parliament has chosen Maatia Toafa as the new Prime Minister, and he has appointed a new-look cabinet.

Mr Toafa won the secret ballot with eight votes to seven against the other contender Kausea Natano.

Mr Toafa was Prime Minister from 2004-2006 before he lost his seat to Apisai Ielemia.

The country held its general election two weeks ago with five new MPs joining ten sitting members.

Radio Tuvalu reports that Mr Toafa's election as Prime Minister was secured by the support of the five new members and three MPs who defected from the former government's camp.

The new members have all been given key portfolios.

Former diplomat and climate change negotiator, Enele Sopoanga is the new Foreign Affairs, Environment and Labour Minister while newcomer, Monise Laafai from Nanumaga takes over the Finance portfolio.

The former journalist and clerk to parliament, Sauoa Maani, becomes the new Minister for Health.

Another new MP, Isaia Taeia, will be sworn in as the new Speaker to Parliament.