By Samisoni Pareti
A career civil servant and now veteran politician has been nominated for the position of Prime Minister of Tuvalu.
Kausea Natano’s nomination was lodged with the office of the island’s Governor General today.
He claims the support of 10 of the 16 members of parliament that won in last week’s general elections.
It is expected that Natano will stand against caretaker Prime Minister, Enele Sopoaga when the new parliament convenes in the island capital of Funafuti on Thursday this week to elect the country’s prime minister.
They will first elect a parliamentary speaker.
Acting Governor General of Tuvalu, Teniku Talesi had initially advised the 16 MPs that parliament will sit tomorrow (17/9), but issued a letter today about the new sitting date.
Her second letter said some MPs got their first letters delivered quite late, which is why she had pushed the parliamentary sitting to later in the week.
Some MPs in Natano’s camp were displeased about the extension, believing that Sopoaga is bidding for more time in an attempt to boost his numbers.
They called on the office of the GG today to formally express their displeasure.
Nominee Natano is one of two representatives of the Funafuti constituency.
He is not new in government, observers say.
He reportedly last served as a cabinet minister in the government of the late Apisai Ielemia in 2006 to 2010.
Before entering politics, Natano was Director of Custom of Tuvalu for several years, and later served as assistant secretary in the ministry of finance and economic planning.