26 Feb 2024

Feleti Teo elected new Tuvalu PM unopposed

3:31 pm on 26 February 2024
WCPFC executive director Feleti Teo.

WCPFC executive director Feleti Teo Photo: Supplied/ WCPFC

Feleti Teo has been elected unopposed as Tuvalu's new Prime Minister on Monday morning in Funafuti.

Tuvalu's former climate change and foreign affairs minister Simon Kofe, who is also an elected MP, posted a congratulatory message just minutes ago on X (formerly Twitter).

"It is the first time in our history that a Prime Minister has been nominated unopposed," he wrote.

"The inauguration of the PM and Cabinet Ministers will take place this week," he added.

Teo is a former executive director of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission - more commonly known as the Pacific Tuna Commission. He has also held the position of the Attorney-General.

He won in the Niutao electorate in 26 January election, unseating his brother and former Speaker of Parliament, Samuelu Teo.

Ministers and their portfolios are yet to be known.

According to the secretary to government, that information will be known tomorrow (Tuesday 27 February) at the Oath Taking Ceremony.


Former Tuvalu government advisor Dr Jess Marinaccio told RNZ Pacific Teo's election was "unsurprising".

"He has so much international expereince. He has worked outside and inside Tuvalu in high level positions," she said.

"However, I did see that the Tuvalu news media site, they their explanation of how the the unopposed election happened was that the only name that was put forward for election was for the PM was Teo's name."

Dr Marinaccio, who is now the assistant professor in Asian Pacific Studies at the California State University, said there was no other names that that came up and that came with the idea that the new PM had been elected unopposed.

"It's slightly different than the idea of maybe everybody voting for him, but just that he was the only name that was put in. But still that is a unanimous vote there.

"But I think that just given all of his background, it is fairly unsurprising that he would be the one that could get a unanimous vote in this case."

-You can listen to the full interview with Dr Jess Marinaccio on Pacific Waves tonight from 8.15pm NZ time.

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