Tuvalu Parliament Speaker Blocks No-Confidence Motion

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Opposition claims speaker has breached constitutional law

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 31, 2013) – Tuvalu's speaker of parliament has blocked the country's opposition from tabling a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Willy Telavi.

The motion of no-confidence was scheduled to be debated on Wednesday.

However, Health Minister Taom Tanukale resigned from parliament on Tuesday and speaker Kamuta Latasi has suspended the house until a by-election is held to replace him.

Opposition member of parliament Taukelina Finikaso says the speaker's actions are in breach of the constitution.

"There's only four members of the government, five including the speaker," he said.

"Whereas on the opposition there are eight members, which command the majority of the house.

"The speaker has blatantly refused to abide by the constitution of Tuvalu."

In Tuvalu a by-election can only be held when requested by the Prime Minister.

The opposition says Mr. Telavi has not provided any indication he will give a by-election the go ahead.

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