Officially: South West Pacific State of Tuvalu.
Seat of government: Vaiaku on Fongafale.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: Parliament (Palamene) is elected in geographical constituencies, and chooses the prime minister.
Head of government: Enele Sopoaga, prime minister (since 2013).
Recent history: Prime minister Saufatu Sopoanga (2002-4) lost a vote of confidence, replaced by Maatia Toafa (2004-6, 2010). Toafa was the only member of his governing coalition to survive the 2006 parliamentary election. Apisai Ielemia (2006-10) was chosen to replace him. After the 2010 parliamentary election, Toafa was elected by a single-vote majority, but was replaced (again by a single vote) a few months later by Willy Telavi (2010-3). In 2013, Telavi attempted to block a vote of no confidence by refusing to convene parliament, but the governor-general overruled this decision, and Telavi was replaced by Sopoaga. A general election was held in 2015, with supporters of Sopoaga winning a majority. Tuvalu has begun the evacuation of its entire population (~10,000) to New Zealand, on assumption of continuing land loss to rising sea levels.
FH: 1-1, free.
Updated: 2015 April 25.