Dr Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa has been elected by a majority of Members of Parliament to become Tonga’s Prime Minister to replace late ‘Akilisi Pohiva.
A total of 15 members out of the 26 Members of Parliament voted for Tu’i’onetoa, while eight MPs voted for the rival candidate, Semisi Sika.
Tu’i’onetoa, was a member of the PTOA Party but he crossed the floor to form the new People’s Party and gain the support from a united group of nobles and independent MPs.
Five MPs from the PTOA defected and supported Tu’i’onetoa.
Before the election this morning, only four MPs of the PTOA Party, including Tu’i’onetoa were understood that they were leaving the Party. The three were MP Vatau Hui, Minister of Justice Vuna Fa’otusia and MP ‘Akosita Lavulavu, leaving the Party with only nine MPs.
The results of the election showed, another MP from the nine loyal PTOA MPs also defected.
Tu’i’onetoa said in his speech this morning before the election, that he promised to bring unity to the politically divided nation and outlined changes he would bring if elected.