26 Jun 2015

Tuvalu MP allowed to speak English in parliament

12:46 pm on 26 June 2015

The Speaker of Tuvalu's parliament, Otinielu Tauteleimale Tausi, has allowed one of the country's new MPs to speak in English at the first session of the House.

Nui MP Mackenzie Kiritome was making his first contribution to the debate on the speech of the Governor General, Sir Iakoba Italeli.

Mr Kiritome was speaking in both English and Tuvaluan when the Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga interjected, saying parliamentary rules stipulate that Tuvaluan is the only language allowed to be used in Parliament.

The Speaker agreed, but allowed Mr Kiritome to use English as part of his contribution because it was his first time, as long as he provided a translation for other MPs.

Funafuti's oceanside shoreline, Tuvalu

Funafuti's oceanside shoreline, Tuvalu Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades