Prime Minister of Tuvalu

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Prime Minister of Tuvalu
Ulu o te Malo o Tuvalu (Tuvaluan)
Coat of arms of Tuvalu.svg
Coat of Arms of Tuvalu
Kausea Natano June 2022.jpg
Kausea Natano
since 19 September 2019
Style The Right Honourable
AppointerElected by the members of the Parliament
Term length While commanding the confidence of the majority of members of parliament. No term limits are imposed on the office.
Inaugural holder Toaripi Lauti
Formation1 October 1978
Salary AU$ 50,563/US$ 33,252 annually [1]

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.

Part V, section 62 of the Constitution of Tuvalu describes the vesting of the executive authority:

(1) The executive authority of Tuvalu is primarily vested in the Sovereign, and the Governor-General as the representative of the Sovereign.
(2) The executive authority so vested in the Sovereign shall be exercised in accordance with section 53 (performance of functions by the Head of State). [2]

Following the parliamentary vote the governor-general of Tuvalu is responsible for swearing in as the prime minister the person who commands the confidence of a majority of members of parliament.

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 motion of no confidence by parliament, or losing his seat in a parliamentary election.

Part V, Section 63 of the Constitution of Tuvalu establishes the office of Prime Minister. Under section 64 the Prime Minister is be elected by the members of Parliament, with section 64 to 67 describes what happens if the office of the Prime Minister becomes vacant, the removal from office of an incapacitated Prime Minister, the process for the suspension of the Prime Minister, and the effect of removal or suspension of the Prime Minister. [2]

Part V of the Constitution establishes the executive authority of Tuvalu and confirms that while the Prime Minister is the head of government, executive power is exercised by ministerial government, with Part V, section 67 to 69 establishing the role of the cabinet. [2]

Several former prime ministers have been appointed the governor-general of Tuvalu.

Kausea Natano has been the prime minister since 19 September 2019.

List of prime ministers

ElectionTerm of officeMinistryGovernor-GeneralMonarch
Took officeLeft officeTime in office
Chief Minister of the Ellice Islands
1 Insigne Tuvalum.svg Sir Toaripi Lauti
2 October 19751 October 19782 years, 364 days Lauti Ministry
1st Ministry
John Hillary Smith Queen Elizabeth II
Prime Minister of Tuvalu
1 Insigne Tuvalum.svg Sir Toaripi Lauti
1977 1 October 19788 September 19812 years, 342 days Lauti Ministry
1st Ministry
Sir Fiatau Penitala Teo
2 Insigne Tuvalum.svg Tomasi Puapua
(born 1938)
8 September 198116 October 19898 years, 38 days First Puapua Ministry
Second Puapua Ministry
2nd Ministry
Sir Tupua Leupena
3 Bikenibeu Paeniu 2022.jpg Bikenibeu Paeniu
(born 1956)
1993 (Sep)
16 October 198910 December 19934 years, 55 days First Paeniu Ministry
3rd Ministry
Sir Toaripi Lauti
Sir Tomu Sione
4 Rt Hon Sir Kamuta Latasi (cropped).jpg Sir Kamuta Latasi
(born 1936)
1993 (Nov) 10 December 199324 December 19963 years, 14 days Latasi Ministry
4th Ministry
Sir Tulaga Manuella
(3) Bikenibeu Paeniu 2022.jpg Bikenibeu Paeniu
(born 1956)
1993 (Nov)
24 December 199627 April 19992 years, 124 days Second Paeniu Ministry
Third Paeniu Ministry
5th Ministry
Sir Tomasi Puapua
5 Ionatana Ionatana.jpg Ionatana Ionatana
1998 27 April 19998 December 20001 year, 225 days Ionatana Ministry
6th Ministry
Acting 1 Insigne Tuvalum.svg Lagitupu Tuilimu 8 December 200024 February 200178 days Tuilimu Ministry
6th Ministry (Cont.)
6 Faimalaga Luka 2003.jpg Faimalaga Luka
1998 24 February 200114 December 2001293 days Luka Ministry
7th Ministry
7 Insigne Tuvalum.svg Koloa Talake
1998 14 December 20012 August 2002231 days Talake Ministry
8th Ministry
8 Saufatu Sopoanga 2003 (cropped).jpg Saufatu Sopoanga
2002 2 August 200227 August 20042 years, 25 days Sopoanga Ministry
9th Ministry
Faimalaga Luka
9 Maatia Toafa.jpg Maatia Toafa
(born 1954)
2002 27 August 200414 August 20061 year, 352 days First Toafa Ministry
10th Ministry
Sir Filoimea Telito
10 Apisai Ielemia cropped.jpg Apisai Ielemia
2006 14 August 200629 September 20104 years, 46 days Ielemia Ministry
11th Ministry
Sir Kamuta Latasi
Sir Iakoba Italeli
(9) Maatia Toafa.jpg Maatia Toafa
(born 1954)
2010 29 September 201024 December 201086 days Second Toafa Ministry
12th Ministry
11 Willy Telavi.jpg Willy Telavi
(born 1954)
2010 24 December 20101 August 20132 years, 220 days Telavi Ministry
13th Ministry
12 Enele Sopoaga 2015.jpg Enele Sopoaga
(born 1956)
1 August 201319 September 20196 years, 49 days Sopoaga Ministry
14th Ministry
Mrs. Teniku Talesi Honolulu ,
Samuelu Teo ,
Sir Tofiga Vaevalu Falani
13 Kausea Natano June 2022.jpg Kausea Natano
(born 1957)
2019 19 September 2019Incumbent4 years, 149 days Natano Ministry
15th Ministry
King Charles III
14 2024 TBD
16th Ministry


  1. ^ Tuilimu served as acting prime minister following the death of Ionatana. [3] [4]
  2. ^ Sir Iakoba Italeli resigned as Governor-General on 22 August 2019 to contest a seat in parliament in the 2019 general election. [5]

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  1. Tuvalu. "Prescription of Salaries (Amendment) Act 2020".
  2. 1 2 3 "Constitution of Tuvalu" (PDF). Government of Tuvalu. October 1, 2023. Retrieved November 27, 2023.
  3. "Tuvalu: Year In Review 2001". Britannica. 2001. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  4. Lansford, Tom (2015). Political Handbook of the World 2015. CQ Press.
  5. Tahana, Jamie (September 10, 2019). "Tuvalu elections: large turnover for new parliament". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved September 10, 2019.