Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa

Tonga King says no to PM on Privy Council offer

Kaniva News reports that the King also declined a request the police minister have more say over the police commissioner.

The Privy Council oversees the appointments of key public servants such as the police commissioner, judges and the attorney general.

The previous administration of the late 'Akilisi Pohiva had made strong but unsuccessful pushes for change.

It had wanted Tonga to move further towards full democracy.

Don Wiseman asked correspondent Kalafi Moala about the latest tensions within the different arms of the Tonga Government.


New Tonga PM rejects claims of betraying predecessor

Mr Tu'i'onetoa was elected prime minister last week to replace Mr Pohiva, who died last month in Auckland.

He achieved this by crossing the floor and taking several members of the PTOA Party with him to form a new party with the nobles.

But local media have reported the remnants of Mr Pohiva's party as saying this was a betrayal of the late prime minister by Mr Tu'i'onetoa and his colleagues.

The new prime minister said this is wrong.

Tonga MPs choose Tu'i'onetoa as new Prime Minister

Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, the current Minister of Finance, has won convincingly with 15 votes, to acting Prime Minister Semisi Sika, who got 8 votes.

Mr Tu'i'onetoa, who was a minister in good standing in the Pohiva government, earlier this week crossed the floor to form the new People's Party and gain the support from a united group of nobles and independent MPs.

Three other MPs who were part of Mr Pohiva's party, also crossed the floor.

The defection of the four members of Pohiva's party meant the party was unable to have a majority in electing the prime minister.

Tonga to get three new police boats

Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa says New Zealand and Australia have provided the 30-foot vessels which will mainly be used for search and rescue tasks.

Dr Tu'i'onetoa says one boat each will be used in Tongatapu, Ha'apai and Vava'u.

He says the the other islands of 'Eua and the Niuas won't get the same resources but once operational costs are confirmed for the boats then the Minister will look into their situation.