Nuku’alofa – October 11, 2019: 10am (Nuku’alofa Times): His Majesty King Tupou VI had appointed Tonga’s third commoner Prime Minister and a ‘party of national unity’ style Cabinet to lead Tonga in the next two years.
Former Auditor General and Finance Minister Dr Pohiva Tu’ionetoa was appointed PM on Tuesday, October 8.
He won the election for the position in Parliament two weeks ago, following the death of then Prime Minister, the late Hon Samiuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva.
Dr Pohiva defeated Acting PM Hon Semisi Sika y 15 votes to 8, signalling the end of rule by the Democratic Party that the late Hon Pohiva had started and took into government after the 2014 and 2018 elections.
At the same time the Prime Minister’s Office has confirmed that “that His Majesty,
King Tupou VI, upon receiving recommendations from the Prime Minister, the Hon. Dr. Pohiva
Tu’i’onetoa, has appointed the new Ministers of Government, with effect from 9
th October, 2019”.
The new members of His Majesty’s Cabinet are as follows, along with their respective portfolios:
1. Hon. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa – Prime Minister and Minister for Public Enterprises
2. Hon. Sione Vuna Fa’otusia – Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Justice and Prison
3. Lord Ma’afu- Minister for Lands and Natural Resource & Minister for His Majesty’s Armed
4. Hon. Tevita Lavemaau- Minister for Finance &Minister for Revenue and Customs
5. Hon. Poasi Mataele Tei- Minister for Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management,
Environment, Communications and Climate Change
6. Hon. Siaosi ‘Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni – Minister for Education & Training
7. Hon. Samiu Kuita Vaipulu – Minister for Trade and Economic Development
8. Hon. ‘Akosita Lavulavu- Minister for Infrastructure and Tourism
9. Hon Vatau Hui – Minister for Internal Affairs
10. Lord Nuku – Minister for Police, Fire & Emergency Services
11. Lord Tu’ilakepa – Minister for Agriculture, Food, Forests and Fisheries
12. Hon. Dr. ‘Amelia Afuha’amango Tu’ipulotu – Minister for Health
The Cabinet lineup reflects a ‘party of national unity’ style government with representatives from the Peoples’ Reps, Nobles and a selection from an un-elected Member, as per the Constitution.
Eight Cabinet Ministers are Peoples’ Reps, three are Nobles and an unelected Member selected by the Prime Minister.
The unelected Member is Dr ‘Amelia Afuha’amango Tu’ipolotu, who has taken on the role of Minister for Health, joining Hon Akosita Lavulavu as the same time as the two women reps in Parliament.