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Palamene o Tuvalu (Parliament of Tuvalu)


Parliament name (generic / translated) Palamene / Parliament
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Structure of parliament Unicameral
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 2017 -
President Otinielu Tauteleimalae Tausi (M) 
Notes Elected on 4 March 2014, re-elected on 10 April 2015.
Secretary General Andrew Puga Semeli (a.i.) (M) 
Members (statutory / current number) 15 / 15

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Women (current number) 1 (6.67%)
Mode of designation directly elected 15
Term 4 years
Last renewal dates 31 March 2015
(View details)
Address Parliament of Tuvalu
Private Mail Bag - Vaiaku,
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (688) 20250
Fax (688) 20253
E-mail parliament@gov.tv


Parliament name (generic / translated) Palamene / Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Electoral law 1 January 1900
Mode of designation directly elected 15
Constituencies - 7 multi-member (2 seats) constituencies corresponding to the seven islands with population over 1,000
- 1 single-member constituency corresponding to the remaining inhabited islands
Voting system Majority: Single member plurality systems ("first past the post") for single member constituency. In the two member constituencies, the two candidates with the highest number of votes are declared elected.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by elections.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- Tuvalu citizenship
- physical presence in country on polling day
- disqualifications: sentence of death or imprisonment exceeding one year, insanity, election-connected offence
Eligibility - qualified electors
- age: 21 years
- Tuvalu citizenship
- residence in the country and actively participate in islands activities
- own land
- ineligibilities: allegiance to a foreign State, undischarged bankruptcy, insanity, death sentence, imprisonment for a term exceeding 12 months
Incompatibilities - any public office
Candidacy requirements - candidates must be proposed by at least three electors
- list of candidates, published in each constituency at least 21 days prior to polling day
- as there are no recognized political parties, each candidate is considered independent and responsible for his own election campaign


Parliament name (generic / translated) Palamene / Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 31 March 2015
Timing and scope of renewal Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga's supporters won 11 seats in the 15 member Parliament. The elections involved only independent candidates, as there are no political parties in Tuvalu. 12 outgoing members were returned, including two candidates who were re-elected unopposed (Mr. Sopoaga and Natural Resources Minister Elisala Pita). Two first-time members and one former MP won the remaining seats. Ms. Puakena Boreham became the third woman ever to enter Parliament. Mr. Sopoaga's new Cabinet was sworn in on 10 April, with former Prime Minister Maatia Toafa as his Deputy.

The 2015 elections were initially called for 19 March (see note) but were postponed due to Cyclone Pam which affected outer islands in Tuvalu. During the election campaign, Prime Minister Sopoaga promised to revise the Constitution, to address chronic political instability in the country. Since the previous elections held in September 2010, the country has had three Prime Ministers and three Speakers. Prime Minister Mr. Maatia Toafa lost a motion of no-confidence on 15 December 2010 after only three months in office and was succeeded by Mr. Willy Telavi. In August 2013, the new government led by Mr. Sopoaga took office. In March 2014, he moved a motion to remove Speaker Kamuta Latasi, who was succeeded as President by Mr. Otinielu Tauteleimalae Tausi.

Note on the timing of elections:
Article 118 (1) of the Constitution stipulates that "Parliament is automatically dissolved at the end of the period of four years after the date of its first sitting after a general election". Following a civil case, asking the court to confirm that (1) the session held on 30 September 2010 was the first parliamentary session after the 2010 elections; and (2) parliament would automatically be dissolved on 30 September 2014, on 17 July 2014, the High Court ruled that the meeting on 30 September 2010 was not a sitting of Parliament.
In light of the ruling, the outgoing legislature is considered to have started on 19 December 2010 and ended on 19 December 2014. Since article 88 (1) of the Constitution states "There shall be a general election as soon as practicable after every dissolution of Parliament", without indicating the period during which general elections need to be held, the 2015 elections are considered to have been held upon normal expiry.
Date of previous elections: 16 September 2010

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 19 December 2014

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: 2019*
*See the note on the timing of elections.

Number of seats at stake: 15 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 32 (29 men, 3 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 9.4%

Number of parties contesting the election: N/A*
*Tuvalu has no party system.

Number of parties winning seats: N/A

Alternation of power: No

Number of parties in government: N/A

Names of parties in government: N/A

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 10 April 2015*
*Although the legislature elected in March 2015 convened for the first time on 10 April 2015, in accordance with the High Court ruling of July 2014, the four-year term of Parliament starts on 17 June 2015, when the first parliamentary session is due to start.

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Otinielu Tauteleimalae Tausi
Voter turnout
Distribution of votes
Distribution of seats
Distribution of seats according to sex


Percent of women


Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Source: Parliament (13.04.2015)


Parliament name (generic / translated) Palamene / Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Title Speaker of the Parliament of Tuvalu
Term - duration: 4 years (Term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution of the Parliament, Speaker's responsability called into question, Speaker appointed Prime Minister, Minister, Head of State or Judge of the Hight Court
Appointment - elected by all Members of the Parliament
- after the Members' mandates are validated, and before Members are sworn in
Eligibility - any candidate must have formally submitted his candidature
Voting system - formal vote by secret ballot
- simple majority
Procedures / results - the Clerk presides over the Assembly during the voting
- the Clerk and other members of his staff supervise the voting
- the Clerk announces the results without any delay
- the election must be confimed by the Head of the State
- the results cannot be challenged
Status - ranks third in the hierarchy of the State
- may be called upon to replace the Head of the State in the event of the latter's absence
- represents the Parliament with the public authorities
- is ex officio member of the local Government
- represents the Parliament in international bodies
- is ex officio president of committees or other bodies
- in the absence of the Speaker, the Acting Speaker can assume his/her role and functions
Material facilities - annual salary: $10,572.00
- domestic allowance: $1,800.00
- entertainment allowance: $1,800.00 (local)
$2,000.00 (overseas)
- official residence
- official motorbike
- incidental allowance of $60 per day when he travels overseas
- parliamentary Secretariat
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions, in exceptional cases only
- establishes and modifies the agenda
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
- is entitled to appoint committees and their presiding officers
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning theParliament
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Parliament, according to precedents
Special powers - is responsible for establishing the Parliament's budget, after consultation with the Clerk
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Chamber
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion
- takes part in voting on exceptional matters such as amending the Constitution of Tuvalu
- proposes bills or amendments
- intervenes in the parliamentary oversight procedure
- must be consulted in certain circumstances (dissolution...)

This page was last updated on 30 January 2018
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