Pōhiva says he has successor in mind to take over as Democracy Party leader

Fakapapau'i 'e he Taki 'o e PTOA 'a e tokotaha ke ne fetongi ia 'i hono tataki o e Pāti 'i he kaha'u' ka ne ikai ke ne fakahā e hingoa.

Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva says he has a person in mind who could replace him as party leader when he steps down.

Speaking exclusively to Kaniva news, the 77-year-old political veteran said he had picked his potential successor after assessing members’ “commitment and sacrifice” to the Paati Temokalati ‘o e ‘Otu MotuAnga’ofa (the Democracy Party).

“I know him,” Pōhiva said.

Asked whether he could release the name of his possible successor, Hon. Pōhiva declined, saying it was not yet time for him to publicly announce the name.

Hon. Pōhiva also declined to confirm whether he would leave politics after his next three years in leading the government.

The Prime Minister said he was happy with how the Party was currently operating and the support it attracted from Tongans overseas.

He said the Party was buoyed by its victory in last year’s snap election after the king dissolved Parliament.

New Zealand supporters

The Prime Minister said he had been invited to south Auckland to attend an event organised by the Party’s supporters in New Zealand.

The supporters were members of the PTOA New Zealand society under the leadership of business man Sione Foaki Fifita.

Hon. Pōhiva marvelled at the number of women who had joined the group.

“A group was setup by democratic supporters from Tongans in New Zealand for the democratic movement in Tonga, but they were mostly men,” he said.

“I was surprised to see a number of women came forward and showed their support for the movement in Tonga by joining the group.”

Hon. Pōhiva said he believed his increasingly strong support from Tongans in New Zealand was triggered by a feud on social media between Facebook groups created by conservative and democratic supporters.

While political parties were not part of Tonga’s political system, for the last three decades the PTOA has been seen as a platform for democrats who want to become Members of Parliament. It is Tonga’s largest and longest serving political party.

Other political parties in Tonga include the new Action for the Poor Party,or Langafonua ‘a e Masiva, which was formed by current and former politicians who had been defected from the PTOA.

In the past, these parties have been set up purely to support certain politicians who were dissatisfied with Hon.Pōhiva and wanted to run in general elections.

The main points

  • Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva says he has a person in mind who could replace him asparty leader when he would step down.
  • Speaking exclusively to Kaniva news, the 77-year-old political veteran said he had picked his potential successor after assessing members’ “commitment and sacrifice” to the Paati Temokalati ‘o e ‘Otu Motu Anga’ofa (the Democracy Party).

For more information

Tonga in a new political order

https://www.idea.int/sites/default/files/publications/tonga-in-a-new-political-order.pdf

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