FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu (August 2, 2002 – Radio Australia)---Tuvalu’s Members of Parliament have elected Saufatu Sopoanga the Polynesian country's new Prime Minister.

Mr. Sopoanga -- the former Minister of Finance in the Koloa Talake administration -- defeated opposition candidate Amasone Kilei by eight votes to seven.

Maati Toafa was elected Deputy Prime Minister and also will head the Ministry of Works, Communication and Transport.

The 15 MPs are expected to elect the new Speaker of Parliament tomorrow.

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

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