28 Jul 2011

Tuvalu to shortly announce dates for by-election following Minister's death

2:16 pm on 28 July 2011

Plans are underway in Tuvalu to hold a by-election to replace the late Minister of Natural Resources.

Isaia Italeli was found dead in a hotel room in Samoa where he was staying before the Pacific Forum Fisheries Ministers' meeting last week.

A farewell service was held in Samoa before his body was returned to Tuvalu for his funeral held earlier this week.

The Secretary to the Government in Tuvalu, Panapasi Nelesone says a by-election is expected to be held soon.

"Right now government is trying to organise a by-election for the island of Nui. The late minister was from the island of Nui. So we're now in the process of organising a by-election and hopefully the dates will be approved by cabinet later this afternoon."

Panapasi Nelesone says the Prime Minister is overseeing the late Minister's portfolios until the by-election.

Meanwhile the police in Samoa have not yet confirmed a cause of death but have ruled out foul play.