Tuvalu general election: Half of new Parliament are newcomers

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Former Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano
Former Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano . . . ousted in the general election on Friday. Image: Lydia Lewis/RNZ Pacific

RNZ Pacific

Eight of Tuvalu’s 16-member Parliament are newcomers following the 2024 general election which saw former Prime Minister Kausea Natano ousted.

The country went to the polls on Friday to elect a new Parliament with 6000 people registered to cast their votes in eight constituencies in the island nation.

There are no political parties in Tuvalu, which means that all candidates run as independents, and voters will select two lawmakers in each of the eight electorates.

Former Prime Minister Kausea Natano failed to get enough votes to return to Parliament in the Funafuti constituency.

Dr Puakena Boreham, the only female candidate in this year’s election, represented Nui in the 2015 and 2019 elections but failed to get the numbers this time.

Two noticeable new MPs are former Governor-General Sir Iakoba Italeli Taeia, and Feleti Teo, former executive director of the Tuna Commission.

The Commissioner of Election, Dr Tufoua Panapa, thanked everyone who took part in the 2024 general election, from his team, the voters and all the volunteers.

Second hurdle forming coalition
Simon Kofe told RNZ Pacific before all the votes were tallied, that he was confident that he would get back into parliament.

“The second hurdle will be negotiating with other MPs to form a coalition to form a government,” he said.

“Given the nature of our system here where everyone comes in as an independent, I think there are a few key issues that might influence the various groupings after the election.

“As you probably see in the media, there is one politician in particular who has expressed interest in revisiting the relationship with Taiwan and whether or not we should be switching to China.

“Some politicians have also expressed their view on the treaty with Australia, and there was some strong opposition on that as well, so I think those are probably two key issues that may influence the groupings after the election results come out,” Kofe said.

The results:

Each of Tuvalu’s eight districts elects two members of Parliament. Nukulaelae only had two candidates for that seat. The number of votes received are next to each candidate, a * denotes a newly-elected member.

Nukulaelae

  • Seve Paeniu
  • Namoliki Sualiki Neemia

Nanumea

  • Ampelosa Manoa Tehulu (490)
  • Tiimi Melei (296)
  • Temetiu Maliga (246)
  • Satini Tulaga Manuella (178)
  • Falasese Tupou (130)

Nanumaga

  • Monise Tuivaka Laafai (292)
  • Hamoa Holona* (265)
  • Malofou Sopoaga (251)
  • Kitiona Tausi (167)

Funafuti

  • Tuafafa Latasi* (351)
  • Simon Kofe (348)
  • Kausea Natano (331)
  • Iosua Samasoni (53)
  • Luke Paeniu (37)
  • Jack Mataio Taleka (9)

Nui

  • Mckenzie Kiritome (352)
  • Sir Iakoba Italeli Taeia* (311)
  • Dr Puakena Boreham (291)

Niutao

  • Feleti Penitala Teo* (581)
  • Saaga Talu Teafa* (499)
  • Sam Penitala Teo (172)

Nukufetau

  • Panapasi Nelesoni* (408)
  • Enele Sopoaga (402)
  • Taimitasi Paelati (374)
  • Nikolasi Apenelu (324)

Vaitupu

  • Paulson Panapa* (585)
  • Maina Talia* (448)
  • Nielu Meisake (420)
  • Isaia Taape (349)

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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