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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Tuvalu’s prime minister reportedly loses his seat in essential elections on the Pacific island nation

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SYDNEY — Prime Minister Kausea Natano reportedly misplaced his seat in parliament in elections on the tiny Pacific island nation of Tuvalu.

The election for the 16-seat parliament, which might have implications for China, Taiwan and Australia, noticed eight newcomers win seats, in keeping with Radio New Zealand. The report could not be independently confirmed.

Tuvalu, with simply over 11,500 individuals, is without doubt one of the smallest nations on the earth. However the election has gained worldwide consideration as a result of Tuvalu, a British colony till 1978, is one in every of solely 12 international locations which have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the self-governing democratic island that China claims as its territory.

Natano is a supporter of Taiwan. One other contender for the highest job, the reelected Finance Minister Seve Paeniu, has mentioned he desires to evaluate Tuvalu’s relationships with each Taiwan and China.

The elections come as China, the USA and others wrangle for affect within the strategically essential area. However China has been placing stress on supporters of Taiwan. Nauru, as an illustration, one other small Pacific nation, just lately switched its help from Taiwan to China.

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After the election, the subsequent step is parliamentary negotiations to kind a brand new authorities and elect the prime minister.

Enele Sopoaga, who’s hoping to once more be prime minister after dropping out to Natano after the 2019 election, was additionally reportedly reelected.

World warming is one other massive challenge for the island nation, as Tuvalu’s low-lying atolls routinely flood.

A proposed safety treaty between Tuvalu and Australia might additionally cling within the steadiness. The treaty commits Australia to assist Tuvalu in response to main pure disasters, well being pandemics and navy aggression. The treaty offers additionally Australia veto energy over any safety or defense-related settlement Tuvalu desires to make with another nation, together with China.

Debate on the treaty has been divisive and it has but to be ratified. Sopoaga has mentioned he would reject it.


Comply with AP’s Asia-Pacific protection at https://apnews.com/hub/asia-pacific

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