Tuvalu. At the March 26 election, seven of the twelve
members lost their seats in Parliament. Among those who were
not re-elected were former Prime Minister Kamuta Laatasi,
who, during the election campaign, went on fierce attacks
against the incumbent Head of Government Bikenibeu Paeniu.
Laatasi accused Paeniu of having committed a sexual assault
five years earlier. According to
Countryaah, Paeniu dismissed the charges and accused
Laatasi of receiving bribes during his tenure as Prime
In November, a warning was issued by the regional
environmental program in the South Pacific, SPREP, that the
greenhouse effect is causing more and more land on low-lying
islands, among other things. Tuvalu, placed under water. In
addition, the rising sea level has caused drinking water to
be contaminated by salt water and farmers have been forced
to abandon important agricultural land.