Tuvalu Government set to retain power

Tuvalu Government set to retain power

Tuvalu Government set to retain power

Posted 25 August 2011, 16:48 AEST

Tuvalu Prime Minister Willy Telavi looks certain to remain in power after securing support in a critical by-election.

Parliament has been split since former fisheries minister Isaia Italeli died while attending the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Committee meeting in Samoa last month.

But on Wednesday, the government's preferred candidate won a pivotal by-election on Nui Island.

Pelenike Isaia, the wife of Isaia Italeli, was elected with a 62 vote majority over the only other candidate, Leneuoti Matusi.

Mrs Isaia says her husband's reputation helped her win the poll.

"I want to fulfil his opinions and everything he has been aiming for or targeting in his time," she said.

Mrs Isaia says she will be offering her crucial vote to the incumbent government when she travels to the capital Funafuti on Thursday.