Tuvalu News


PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT

Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center

Tuvalu Begins Process Towards a Referendum on Whether to Become Republic

FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu (August 9, 2002 Ė Radio New Zealand International)---Tuvaluís new Prime Minister Saufatu Sopoaga says steps are being taken to conduct a referendum on whether Tuvalu should become a republic.

He said informational radio programs on the matter will be broadcast ahead of nationwide consultations in September and a referendum scheduled for the end of the year.

Mr. Sopoaga said such a vote is necessary because of political instability, which has seen four prime minister in the last four years.

He said as a republic, Tuvalu would be assured of stability, because the people and not Parliament would choose the nationís leader.

"The prime minister in our current system is being elected by Members of Parliament. If there is a change to giving this authority to the whole country to elect the leader, there could be control.

"With this exercise, there is no intention to go out of the Commonwealth,"

Prime Minister Sopoaga said.

 



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