June 18

Another referendum: republic defeated

The people of Tuvalu have voted in favour of maintaining a constitutional monarchy under Queen Elizabeth II. 

According to a broadcast on Radio Australia on 17 June,2007 , the referendum, held  at the end of April, asked voters whether they wished to have a president as head of state. 

Relying on a report in the Pacific News Service, Radio Australia said  the results were in favour of the constitutional monarchy, with 1,260 people voting in favour, while 679 were against the proposal.

 However, voter turn out was low, with around 2,000 people taking part of the 9,000 eligible to vote on the island, an indication that people were little interested in a republic.

Does that sound familiar? 

Tuvalu was once part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands,  a British protectorate from 1892 and a colony in 1916.

In  1976  the islands were divided into two different colonies which became independent nations soon after.

The  Ellice Islands were renamed Tuvalu in 1978, and the Micronesian Gilbert Islands were formed, with some other islands, into the nation of Kiribati in 1979.

The people of Tuvalu are mainly Polynesian. The country is a constitutional monarchy, a Realm within the Commonwealth.

The referendum confirmed Her Majesty as Queen of Tuvalu.


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