Freedom in the World
Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
National elections held in September 2010 were considered free and fair, with no reported incidents of violence or fraud. Apisai Ielemia retained his parliamentary seat, but was replaced as prime minister by Maatia Toafa. In December, Toafa lost a confidence vote, and Willy Telavi was elected as Tuvalu’s new prime minister.
Tuvalu is an electoral democracy. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state, and is represented by a governor general who must be a citizen of Tuvalu. The prime minister, chosen by Parliament, leads the government. The unicameral, 15-member Parliament is elected to four-year terms. A six-person council administers each of the country’s nine atolls. Council members are chosen by universal suffrage for four-year terms.