Tonga's Parliament

Tonga's King opens Parliament

Members of Parliament and invited guests gathered at the parliamentary chambers to receive the opening address.

The king congratulated the incoming Prime Minister, Siaosi Sovaleni, as well as all Parliamentarians on the successful completion, and peaceful transition of power leading to the opening of Parliament this year.

In his speech he said Covid-19 is still a serious and immediate risk to all citizens just as illegal drugs are still an ongoing risk to the population but especially to Tonga's children.

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.