24 Dec 2010

Tuvalu parliament to elect new PM

5:33 am on 24 December 2010

Tuvalu's 15-member parliament is today due to elect a new prime minister to replace Maatia Toafa who was voted out on Tuesday.

This followed the defection of the Home Affairs Minister Willie Telavi, giving the opposition a one-vote majority to pass the no confidence motion.

The caretaker Communications Minister Taukelina Finikaso claims Mr Telavi was lured to cross the floor by a promise of being given the top job.

"I think he only went there for the bait, to become the Prime Minister from the other side, nothing else because we've only been there in government for less than three months. Nothing has been done, we're just trying to get the budget over and then all of a sudden, he crossed."

Mr Toafa's camp has said it is likely to nominate Enele Sopoaga as its candidate for today's vote.