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FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu (November 7, 2001 - Radio New Zealand International)---A national referendum to decide Tuvalu’s future form of government is now expected to be held early in the new year.

The referendum initially was set for the end of this year, but has been delayed to allow people to fully understand the implications of the vote.

A committee led by the country's Speaker of Parliament is visiting the outer islands to explain to the people the options available to them for any new government model.

Tuvalu's High Commissioner to Fiji, Taukilina Finikaso, said earlier that the people of Tuvalu "have never been given a chance to decide on what sort of government they would like to adopt, whether it is a Westminster sort of model or a presidential power sort of model."

For additional reports from Radio New Zealand International, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio New Zealand International.

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