Process to elect Tonga PM to begin shortly

The Electoral Commission in Tonga has returned the election writs to King Tupou VI, setting the stage for the formation of government.

The interim speaker, Lord Tangi, can now invite the successful candidates from the November 16 election to submit nominations for prime minister.

The soon to be sworn in MPs have two weeks to submit their nominations to Tangi before a secret ballot is held within another three more days of that deadline.

Before the ballot, nominees are given a chance to speak and other MPs may speak in support of their respective candidate.

Tangi will report the result to the palace before the Prime Minister designate is summoned to be appointed by the King.

After this a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker will be elected.

The prime minister will then select his cabinet.

Interim Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva's Democratic party won 14 of the 17 People's seats during the election but there are also nine Nobles' Representatives to be reckoned with in the 26-member legislature.



Photo: RNZI/Indira Moala Tonga's King Tupou VI