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Tonga’s King Tupou VI appoints new government

King Tupou VI has reportedly appointed a new government of Tonga with effect from Friday, 5 January, 2018, a reliable source said.

Kaniva News understands letters of appointment were delivered by the palace office to the Prime Minister and all his proposed new cabinet ministers over the weekend.

The appointment was made after Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva submitted his cabinet lineup to the king on Thursday.

It is understood the king was expected to have an audience with the Prime Minister sometime soon.

The Prime Minister’s office is expected to officially announce the new cabinet positions this week.

The ministerial appointment comes after Pōhiva, 76, became Tonga’s new prime minister on Tuesday 2, accepting reaffirmation to govern from the king after His Majesty dissolved Parliament in August 2017.

Pōhiva, who won a landslide 14 of the 17 people’s parliamentary seats in a snap election in November following the dissolution, has promised to lead a “king, nobility and people’s government” dedicated to social justice over the next four years.

New lineup submitted by Pōhiva

Pōhiva first announced the new lineup during a private meeting with his Democratic Party in Nuku’alofa last week before he submitted it to the royal palace office.

A copy of the list of the ministerial lineup was leaked to Kaniva News shortly after the meeting.

Kaniva News sought confirmation of the list from the Minister of Justice before publishing it on Thursday morning. The minister confirmed it and said it has yet to be officially announced because it was being submitted to the king as part of the constitutional process.

The new lineup is as follows:

1.       Samuela Akilisi  Pōhiva – Prime Minister of Tonga; Minister of Defence and Foreign Affairs

2.       Sēmisi Sika – Deputy Prime Minister; Minister of Tourism and Infrastructure

3.       Sēmisi Fakahau – Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries, Forestry and Food

4.       Dr. Pōhiva Tuionetoa – Minister of Finance and National Planning

5.       Penisimani Fifita – Minister of Education and Training

6.       Poasi Tei –  Minister of Energy, Environment, Information and Climate Change (MEIDEEC)

7.       ‘Akosita H. Lavulavu – Minister of Internal Affairs and Sports

8.       Dr. Tu’i Uata – Minister of Labour and Commerce

9.       Dr. Saia Piukala – Minister of Health and Public Enterprises

10.   Lord Ma’afu – Minister of Lands and Survey

11.   Sione Vuna Fā’otusia – Minister of Justice and Prisons

12.   Māteni Tapueluelu – Minister of Police & Fire Services; Customs and Revenue

Source: Kaniva News
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