Tonga PM

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.

Preparing for election of a new Tongan prime minister

But the pro-democracy party of the late Prime Minister may not have the majority for their nomination to win the prime ministerial election.

This is because four party members in Parliament have joined the opposition.

The four who defected includes the Minister of Finance and Planning, Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa; the Minister of Justice, Vuna Fa'otusia; the member from Vava'u 16, Akosita Lavulavu; and the member from Niua, Vavatau Hui.

The defections mean that the pro-democrats will have only 9 votes for their nomination.

Measles warning for those who attended late Tongan PM’s memorial service in Auckland

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service said a young woman who went to the memorial at the Free Wesleyan Church in Favona on 15 September has since been diagnosed with measles.

A doctor with the service, William Rainger, said people who went to the memorial should be vigilant for symptoms of the highly infectious disease from today.

Dr Rainger said these include a high fever, runny nose, a cough and sore red eyes. A few days later a rash starts on the face and neck, and then spreads to the rest of the body.

Pacific leaders pay tribute to Tonga’s Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva

Pacific leaders took to social media to express their condolences to the people of the Kingdom of Tonga and Mr Pohiva’s family,

The President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau Jnr shared a tweet on Twitter.

“On behalf of the People and Government of Palau, our sincere condolences to the People and Government of Tonga for the passing of The Honorable Prime Minister Pohiva,” Remengesau said.

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison said he was “terribly saddened to hear of the passing of Tongan Prime Minister, the Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva.”

Tonga PM ‘Akilisi Pohiva passes away in Auckland

Mr Pohiva was medically evacuated to Auckland from Tonga Wednesday afternoon.

The Prime Minister’s Media Adviser, Lopeti Senituli has confirmed to Kaniva News the passing away of Mr Pohiva.

Pohiva,78, had been admitted to the Medical Ward of the Vaiola Hospital two weeks ago and was being treated for pneumonia.

A government statement said that on Tuesday 10 September, the medical experts at Vaiola Hospital decided that he should be medically evacuated to New Zealand.

Tongan PM, 'Akilisi Pohiva, medevaced to Auckland

Mr Pohiva, who was in Auckland for treatment for a liver condition earlier this year, became unwell after returning from the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Tuvalu several weeks ago.

He had been in hospital in Nuku'alofa for the past two weeks but doctors on Wednesday decided he needed medical evacuation to Auckland.

A spokesperson for the prime minister described his condition as "very serious".

The acting Prime Minister, Semisi Sika, said in a statement that he was urging the people to remember Mr Pohiva in their prayers.

Tonga PM meets with NZ Deputy Prime Minister in Auckland

Peters, who had requested the meeting, had offered to the Prime Minister his moral support and wished him an early recovery from the medical treatment he is undergoing at the Mercy Hospital.

The two leaders met Friday and took the opportunity to discuss the need for on-going cooperation between New Zealand and Tongan Governments, to address the drugs problem that the two countries are facing.

Discussions also focussed on Tonga’s new Parliamentary building, which the New Zealand and Australian Governments have committed to.

Tonga PM to promote weight loss by Pacific leaders

Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva made the appeal in an interview with the Samoa Observer while discussing the impact of child obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the Pacific.

Mr Pohiva said NCDs had everything to do with eating habits and lifestyle.

Pacific leaders meet and talk about the issue, yet initiatives they advocate do not have an impact, he said.

The effect in Tonga was telling, with life expectancy falling from 71 to 68 years of age, the prime minister said.

Tongan PM still not fully recovered from illness

Last month 'Akilisi Pohiva began his second term in the local intensive care unit with an unspecified illness.

Mr Pohiva said he had still not recovered and didn't know how long it would take before he will be. In the meantime he said he was resting and trying not to be too involved in the workings of government.

Mr Pohiva explained that he was following doctors' orders.

"They advised me not to be involved, to get away from Tonga for a while and then come back but I can't. I have to have a look at what had happened and our plan for the future," Mr Pohiva explained.

Tonga PM hints at passport sale probe woes

Mr Pohiva said if these bodies failed to carry out their core functions to the best of their abilities, corruption in Tonga will continue to increase.

Radio Tonga said at his media conference, just days out from the election, documents were handed out which mentioned a former prime minister Lord Tu'ivakano.

In reply, Lord Tu'ivakano said false and inaccurate information aiming to ruin other people's reputations can cause chaos.

He has asked candidates running for parliament to respect the law and let the police carry out their core functions.