Sovaleni’s supporters show their power as Democratic Party releases party list

    The supporters of sacked Deputy Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni fielded a long parade of vehicles and marchers in Nuku’alofa today as his rival, Prime Minster ‘Akilisi Pōhiva,  released his party list to the public.

    Today’s parade, which was joined by hundreds of people, was videoed and shared online, with Sovaleni’s supporters bragging about the number and saying this was a message from Tongatapu 3.

    The showcase came about a week after the Democratic Party, which is also known as the Paati Temokālati ‘a e ‘Otu Motu Anga’ofa (PTOA), became deadlocked after it first released its party list in Kele’a newspaper‘s Monday issue without listing a candidate to stand for Tongatapu 3.

    On Tuesday the Party finally announced that the director of Radio FM 87.5 Katalina Tohi would stand as its candidate for the constituency.

    Hon. Pōhiva has named 16 candidates he said supported him to form the next government after the general election in November.

    Six of them including Tohi were new candidates nominated to stand for the party for the Niua 17, Vava’u 15, ‘Eua 11, Ha’apai 12 and Tongatapu 5.

    The rest of its candidates are current ministers and MPs.

    The supporters of sacked Deputy Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni fielded a long parade of vehicles and marchers in Nuku’alofa today

    Campaign

    Hon. Pōhiva began leading strong campaign on Monday at Hahake and Vaheloto districts in support of the party’s candidates at the electorates.

    Photos uploaded to Facebook showed meetings with Tatakamotonga and Ha’ateiho constituents.

    The Tongatapu 3 parliamentary seat was won by the party in 2010 when former MP Dr Sitiveni Halapua was the candidate, but lost it to Sovaleni who stood as an independent candidate in the following general election.

    Sovaleni supported Hon. Pōhiva after the election and while he stood for premiership and became his Deputy Prime Minister after Hon. Pōhiva was elected Prime Minister.

    Two other popular candidates who stood from the electorate were Dr Halapua and Real Tonga CEO TÄ“vita Palu, who became second to Sovaleni in the last general election.

    Dr Halapua returned to the political arena after he quit in the 2014 general election.

    A total of 86 candidates from across the political spectrum will contest the election on November 16.

    This compares with 105 in 2014.

    The PTOA Party list

    1. ‘Akilisi Pōhiva
    2. SÄ“misi Lafu Sika
    3. Katalina Tohi
    4. Māteni Tapueluelu
    5. Losaline Mā’asi
    6. Poasi Mataele Tei
    7. Sione Vuna Fā’otusia
    8. SÄ“misi Fakahau
    9. Penisimani Fifita
    10. Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa
    11. SÅ«nia Havea
    12. Mo’ale Fīnau
    13. Veivosa Taka
    14. Saia Piukala
    15. Tomifā Paea
    16. ‘Akosita Lavulavu
    17. Vātau Mefi Hui

    The main points

    • The supporters of sacked Deputy Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni fielded a long parade of vehicles and marchers in Nuku’alofa today as his rival, Prime Minster ‘Akilisi Pohiva, released his party list to the public.
    • The showcase came three days after the Democratic Party became deadlocked after it first released its party list without listing a candidate to stand for Tongatapu 3.
    • On Wednesday the Party finally announced that the director of Radio FM 87.5 Katalina Tohi would stand as its candidate for the constituency.
    • Four other new candidates have been nominated to stand for the party for the Niuas, Vava’u 15, ‘Eua and Tongatapu 5.

    For more information

    86 candidates to line up for Tonga election

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