Prime Minister of Tuvalu

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Prime Minister of Tuvalu
Coat of arms of Tuvalu.svg
Coat of Arms of Tuvalu
Enele Sopoaga 2015.jpg
Enele Sopoaga

since 1 August 2013
Appointer Iakoba Italeli
Term length At the Governor-General's pleasure
Inaugural holder Toaripi Lauti
Formation1 October 1978
Coat of arms of Tuvalu.svg
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The Prime Minister of Tuvalu is the head of government of Tuvalu. According to Tuvalu's constitution, the prime minister must always be a member of the Parliament, and is elected by parliament in a secret ballot. Because there are no political parties in Tuvalu, any member of parliament can be nominated for the role. Following parliament vote the Governor-General of Tuvalu is responsible for swearing the prime minister in.

The head of government is either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. "Head of government" is often differentiated from "head of state", as they may be separate positions, individuals, or roles depending on the country.

Tuvalu country in Oceania

Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island country located in the Pacific Ocean, situated in Oceania, about midway between Hawaii and Australia. It lies east-northeast of the Santa Cruz Islands, southeast of Nauru, south of Kiribati, west of Tokelau, northwest of Samoa and Wallis and Futuna, and north of Fiji. It comprises three reef islands and six true atolls spread out between the latitude of 5° to 10° south and longitude of 176° to 180°, west of the International Date Line. Tuvalu has a population of 10,640. The total land area of the islands of Tuvalu is 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi).

Parliament of Tuvalu

The Parliament of Tuvalu, or Palamene o Tuvalu is the unicameral national legislature of Tuvalu.


The office of prime minister was established when Tuvalu gained independence in 1978, although the post is sometimes considered to be a continuation of the earlier office of chief minister, which was created in 1975. If the prime minister dies, as has happened on one occasion, the deputy prime minister becomes acting prime minister until a new one is elected by parliament. The prime minister can lose his office by resigning, being defeated in a no confidence vote by parliament, or losing his seat in a parliamentary election.

Several former prime ministers have been appointed the Governor-General of Tuvalu.

Governor-General of Tuvalu

The Governor-General of Tuvalu is the representative of the Tuvaluan monarch and performs the duties of the Queen in her absence.

Chief Minister of the Ellice Islands (1975–78)

TenurePolitical Affiliation
Took OfficeLeft Office
1Sir Toaripi Lauti
2 October 19751 October 1978 Independent

Prime Ministers of Tuvalu (1978–present)

TenurePolitical Affiliation
Took OfficeLeft Office
1Sir Toaripi Lauti
1 October 19788 September 1981 Independent
2 Tomasi Puapua
8 September 198116 October 1989 Independent
3 Bikenibeu Paeniu
16 October 198910 December 1993 Independent
4Sir Kamuta Latasi
10 December 199324 December 1996 Independent
(3) Bikenibeu Paeniu
24 December 199627 April 1999 Independent
5 Ionatana Ionatana
27 April 19998 December 2000 Independent
N/A 1 Lagitupu Tuilimu 8 December 200024 February 2001 Independent
6 Faimalaga Luka
24 February 200114 December 2001 Independent
7 Koloa Talake
14 December 200124 August 2002 Independent
8 Saufatu Sopoanga
24 August 200227 August 2004 Independent
9 Maatia Toafa
27 August 200414 August 2006 Independent
10 Apisai Ielemia
14 August 200629 September 2010 Independent
(9) Maatia Toafa
29 September 201024 December 2010 Independent
11 Willy Telavi
24 December 20101 August 2013 Independent
12 Enele Sopoaga
1 August 2013Incumbent Independent
  1. ^ Tuilimu served as acting prime minister following the death of Ionatana. [1] [2]

Related Research Articles

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The Tuvaluan constitutional crisis was a political dispute in Tuvalu between the government, led by Prime Minister Willy Telavi, and the opposition, led by Enele Sopoaga, that was precipitated by the death of the Minister of Finance, Lotoala Metia MP on 21 December 2012, which eliminated the government's majority. The dispute was eventually resolved in August 2013 by a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Willy Telavi, following which Enele Sopoaga was elected Prime Minister.


  1. "Tuvalu: Year In Review 2001". Britannica. 2001. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  2. Lansford, Tom (2015). Political Handbook of the World 2015. CQ Press.

See also