Tonga’s Chair of the Whole House Committee and Democratic Party MP Semisi Sika said he has been approached by the Prime Minister about the prospect of becoming his Minister of Tourism.
“I shared with him my views and gave him my proposal and I am just waiting for him,” Sika said.
The kingdom’s Chief Secretary Dr Palenitina Langa’oi said “there is still discussions going on and nothing has been confirmed”.
She said the Prime Minister “can approach any of the MPs to be a Minister, including Semisi Sika.”
Dr Langa’oi said the appointment once confirmed has to go through normal procedures including informing His Majesty.
“As such, until something is confirmed I cannot comment at this time”, she added.
The Ministry is currently under the provisional ministership of Hon Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, the Police Minister and Minister of Labour and Commerce.
Sika, a local businessman who runs a takeaway shop and catering firm, was a long-time advocate of Tonga’s Tourism.
He is the chairman of the Heilala Festival Committee, a committee established to oversee and organise Tonga’s largest annual festival, the Heilala Week, which aims at promoting tourism and Tongan cultures.
The Ministry of Tourism’s ministerial post became vacant since last week after the king received an advice from the Prime Minister disqualifing Former Tourism Minister Hon ‘Etuate Lavulavu after the Supreme Court convicted him of bribery offence during his 2014 election campaign.