A businessman, Dr. Tuâi Uata, who was not elected by voters to Parliament has been elected by Hon. ‘Akilisi PÅhiva as his Minister of Labour and Commerce, according to a lineup list leaked to local news media.Â
The Prime Minister may appoint no more than four cabinet ministers from outside Parliament, according to the constitution.
Hon. PÅhiva has chosen Tongatapu 2 MP SÄmisi Lafu Sika as Tongaâs Deputy Prime Minister when his lineup was submitted to the palace office yesterday.
Appointment of Prime Minister
The submission was made after King Tupou VI appointed PÅhiva as Tongaâs Prime Minister until 2021 after the November snap election resulted in a decisive win for PÅhivaâs Democrats.
“In accordance with Clause 50A of the Constitution of Tonga, His Majesty King Tupou VI has appointed the Prime Minister-Designate, Honourable Samuela âAkilisi Pohiva, as the Prime Minister of Tonga, with effect from 2 January, 2018,” the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.
The Prime Minister has the power toÂ nominate his cabinet lineup before recommending the king to appoint them, according to the constitution.
Defence moved to PM
Lord Maâafu has been re-elected from the nobility by Hon. PÅhiva to be his Minister of Lands and Survey.
The Ministry of Defence, a portfolio the noble held in the PÅhiva government before the November snap election, has been removed and brought under the control of the Prime Minister.
The Ministry of Custom and Revenues has been brought under the control of the Minister of Police MÄteni Tapueluelu.
Four of Hon. PÅhivaâs Democratic Party team who had been elected after the snap election on November 16 did not have portfolios.
They were Tongatapu 5 MP Losaline MÄâasi, Haâapai 12 MP Moâale FÄ«nau, Haâapai 13 MP Veivosa Taka and Niua 17 MP VÄtau Hui.
The Minister of Justice Hon. Vuna FÄâotusia has confirmed the lineup list obtained by Kaniva NewsÂ this morning.
He said it has yet to be officially announced because it was being submitted to the king.
Hon FÄ’otusia said some of the legislation regarding government portfolios have to be changed to allow movements of some of the ministries such as Sports and Information.
The Ministry of Sports which is currently under the control of the Minister of Internal Affairs was planned to be returned to the control of the Minister of Education.
The Ministry of Information was also intended to be attached to the Prime Minsterâs portfolios.
Hon. FÄ’otusia alleged corruption existed in the Ministry of Custom and Revenues and that was why the portfolio was being given to the Minister of Police.
The new lineup
- Samuela AkilisiÂ PÅhiva – Prime Minister of Tonga; Minister of Defence and Foreign Affairs
2. SÄmisi Sika â Deputy Prime Minister; Minister of Tourism and Infrastructure
3. SÄmisi Fakahau – Minister of Agriculture & Forestry and Food
4. Dr. PÅhiva Tuionetoa – Minisiter of Finance and National Planning
5. Penisimani Fifita – Minisiter of Education
6. Poasi Tei – Â Minister of Energy, Environment, Information and Climate Change (MEIDEEC)
7. ‘Akosita H. Lavulavu â Minister of Internal Affairs and Sports
8. Dr. Tu’i Uata – Minisiter of Labour and Commerce
9. Dr. Saia Piukala – Minisiter of Health and Public Enterprises
10. Lord Ma’afu – Minister of Lands and Survey
11. Sione Vuna FÄ’otusia – Minister of Justice and Prisons
12. MÄteni Tapueluelu – Minister of Police & Fire Services; Customs and Revenue