Late former Tongan PM‘s son sits in Parliament for first time

Former Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva’s oldest son Siaosi took his place in Parliament for the first time last week.

His young brother Sione Pōhiva shared a photo of him, taken in Parliament, on Facebook, saying: “I look at this photo and I remembered the grave. Don’t be afraid his soul will be with you always.”

Siaosi narrowly won the by-election for his late father’s seat, Tongatapu One, by 16 votes.

Kaniva News reports he received 1160 votes to beat scientist Netatua Pelesikoti Taufatofua. Just over half the electorate voted.

Siaosi said at the time his win was an endorsement for continued political reform.

He said he wanted the power of the Nobles reduced. The Nobles could remain in Parliament but should be accountable to the people.

His views reflect those of his late father, who led the PTOAs to victory after decades of struggle to bring democracy to Tonga.

Despite the outright hostility of many Nobles and a frosty relationship with the palace, the PTOA under Pohiva regained power after the king dismissed Parliament.

The party lost power after the last election and the PTOA has been riddled by very public infighting among its senior team.

As Kaniva News reported earlier, MP Mateni Tapueluelu has attacked Siaosi Pohiva and other Party supporters of wrongly advising the late Prime Minister, ‘Akilisi Pohiva, not to resign in April 2019 five months before he died.

He accused him of engaging in a power struggle which led to the demise of the party before the 2019 premiership election.

The Party’s strong overseas chapters and frontliners have accused Tapueluelu of being power-hungry and causing chaos within the party.