Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by a governor-general
Prime minister: Enele Sopoaga
The governor-general appointed opposition leader Enele Sopoaga as prime minister in August 2013 to succeed Willy Telavi, whom the governor-general had dismissed over his failure to convene parliament for eight months.
Born in 1956, Mr Sopoaga is the younger brother of former prime minister Saufatu Sopoaga and served as a civil servant and diplomat before entering politics in 2010. He served as deputy prime minister briefly that year before becoming leader of the opposition.
He has been one of the most prominent spokesmen for his country on climate change in his various capacities as ambassador to the UN, foreign minister and head of the Tuvaluan delegation to the Cancun international climate change conference in 2010.
Tuvalu has no political parties. Allegiances revolve around personalities and geography. The 15-member parliament is popularly elected every four years. The prime minister is chosen by MPs.