ILL TUVALU LAWMAKER TO RESIGN

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 12) - Tuvalu Member of Parliament Sio Patiale, who is battling ill health, says he'll resign so the Prime Minister can call a by-election for his seat of Nanumea.

Patiale has been in Auckland, New Zealand, for almost a year, where he's receiving dialysis treatment three times a week while he waits for a kidney transplant.

He says it is only fair to his constituents that he resign, and he'd prefer to look after his health than concern himself with politics.

Patiale holds the balance of power for the government in the 15-member Parliament, which cannot convene without his presence.

Since he's been in New Zealand, the Tuvalu Parliament has only met once to pass the budget session.

April 13, 2005

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

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