Report – By Daniel Drageset
Willy Telavi’s days as Prime Minister of Tuvalu may be numbered after the Governor-General of the Polynesian country called Parliament to sit at the end of this month.
A by-election in the Nukufetau constituency last Friday shifted the majority in the Tuvalu Parliament.
In the 15-member Parliament, eight of the current MPs are now part of the opposition, whereas seven are aligned with the Prime Minister.
Since last week’s by-election, the opposition has pressed Governor-General Iakoba Italeli to use his special powers to reconvene Parliament so the opposition can move a motion of no confidence in the government.
Opposition MPs accused the current government of delaying reconvening Parliament, according to Radio New Zealand International.
Prime Minister Willy Telavi has resisted the demands to reconvene Parliament.
“We only need to hold Parliament if there’s something to discuss,” he said in an interview with Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat.
It is within the Prime Minister’s right to only call one session a year.
The last session was held in December, and opposition MPs have been saying that Telavi intentionally has been avoiding reconvening Parliament fearing a vote of no confidence.
Although Parliament will convene on July 30, Telavi has not given up hope staying put as Prime Minister.
He said he can rely on two or three votes from the opposition, which will beat the no confidence motion.
Opposition spokesman Taukalina Finikaso confirmed in an interview with Radio Australia that the opposition will put forward a vote of no confidence.
Finikaso also rejected Telavi’s claim that opposition members might back the Prime Minister.
“All eight of us seems to be committed to this cause to table this motion of no-confidence in Parliament as soon as it is convened.”