Non Party MPs should support PTOA and refrain from nominating a PM designate, says Pōhiva

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Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pōhiva. File Photo (Kaniva Tonga News)

Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva said nobles and non Democratic Party Members of Parliament
should support his Party and refrain from nominating any more Prime Minister designates.

Hon. Pōhiva said he understood the nine members of the nobles had been split on the idea.

The Prime Minister talked positively to some of the nobles including two newly elected
members of the nobility, Lord Fakafanua, a former Speaker of Parliament and Lord Vaha’i.

When Kaniva News pushed for Pōhiva to say if he would give these two MPs any ministerial
or governorship posts he said nothing has been decided yet.

He appeared to imply that if the Democrats became the next government the offices would
be filled with commoners in his Party and no nobles would be appointed, as happened in
2014.

After that election Hon. Pōhiva appointed Lord Ma’afu as Minister of Land and Survey as
well as Minister of His Majesty’s Armed Forces.

He also appointed Lord Fulivai as governor for Vava’u.

“I just wanted to show the nobility at the time we did not forget them when we got the power,” Hon. Pōhiva said.

The Prime Minister said in the past he could see there was a huge difference between a
commoner and a noble when they were elected to a government office. He claimed that in
some instances commoners had done better in government positions than nobles.

Calls for unity

The Prime Minister said he understood that after the snap election there were calls from
Tongan academics and even his critics for his Party to work together with the nobles and the other three people’s MPs, who were not members of his Party, to build the nation.

“Those calls should have been directed to the nobles and those three MPs not me and my
Party,” Hon. Pōhiva told Kaniva News.

He said the people spoke to the nation after the landslide victory that gave them 97 percent of the 17 seats for people’s representatives in Parliament.

“The people wanted us to continue with what we were doing before the dissolution of
Parliament,” Hon. Pōhiva said.

Campaign

He said some of his Party members, including the Niua 17 MP Vātau Hui and
Tongatapu 5 MP Losaline Mā’asi, alleged they had been promised money and high government offices by some members of the nobility if they left the PTOA and joined them under a Prime Minister designate of their own.

Hon. Pōhiva said he strongly trusted his Party’s 14 MPs elected in the last election stood firm for him.

As Kaniva News reported earlier today, MPs will vote on the Prime ministership on
December 18.

For more information

Election date for Tonga’s next Prime Minister confirmed

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