New prime minister

Education, health and war on illicit drugs among priorities for new Tonga PM

In his speech before his election as PM yesterday, Sovaleni said people had to learn to know how to live together.

Kaniva News reports Sovaleni said education, health, economic developments, e-government, climate change, war on illicit drugs, natural disasters, youths and women initiatives and good governance were some of his priorities.

In his vote of thanks after he was declared the winner, Sovaleni was emotional and congratulated his supporters and all MPs.

Tonga's parliament to elect new prime minister today

Two MPs vying for the role are the incumbent, 'Akilisi Pohiva, who is up against his former deputy, Siaosi Sovaleni.

Siaosi Sovaleni and another minister, Tevita Lavema'au, were sacked by Mr Pohiva just weeks before the King dissolved parliament, that called for last month's snap election.

Akilisi Pohiva's Democratic Party has 14 of the legislature's 26 seats, but commentators said the election could go either way if MPs cross the floor.



Photo: RNZI/Monica Miller Tonga's caretaker PM 'Akilisi Pohiva