Democrats and independents agree to form Tonga’s next government

Tonga’s independent parliamentarians agreed with the Democrats to form the next government after the independents declined to accept a proposal by the nobility yesterday to propose Lord Vaea to the premiership.

But they said the nobles eventually agreed to help them and the Democrats in forming the government.

Two names were mentioned in this morning’s meeting for the premiership were Samiu Kiuta Vaipulu from the independents and Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva from the Democrats but none of them had been confirmed yet.

Leader ‘Akilisi Pohiva in an opening speech told the 14 members of the elected MPs who attended the meeting at the Council of Churches Headquater in Vaolōloa he wished they could all put aside their political differences. He asked the people’s MPs they have to work together and formulate a new agenda that would lead  them all to form the best government for the people of Tonga.

Kaniva News talked to Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, the spokesman for the Democrats and ‘Etuate Lavulavu, the spokesman for the independents this afternoon and they confirmed the meeting went well and it was “a short one”.

Dr Tu’i’onetoa said he believed the meeting was short  because they all agreed in the beginning to what Leader Pohiva delivered in his opening speech saying that the idea for a government by the people to be formed in the next few days can only be achieved if  the  independents and the Democrats work together.

“We were all happy with the outcome of our meeting. This is just the information that I can give you at this stage as we will continue to meet and talk this week,” Lavulavau said.

When asked if they had confirmed who would become the Prime Minister,  Lavulavu said he understands the Democrats would propose ‘Akilisi Pohiva to the premiership. He said Vaipulu was a potential candidate from the independents but they have not confirmed it.

“We are still talking about it and nothing confirmed yet. The only thing I can confirm now was that we agreed to work together to form the next government,” Lavulavu said.

He said that  in a meeting yesterday with the nobles the independents rejected the proposal to support Lord Vaea in running for the Prime Minister election.

Lavulavu said they told the nobles they wanted an MP elected by the people to become Tonga’s next Prime Minister.

Dr Tu’i’onetoa said, they had a “really good meeting” and they  agreed to work together,  put aside their own individual agendas and policies so that they can form the government.

“This is an ongoing discussion and I think the independents will go back to the nobles before we have another meeting,” Dr Tu’i’onetoa said.

There was something I think they wanted to talk to  the nobles about what we ended up with in our meeting today, he added.

From the 17 elected MPs 14 attended the meeting this morning while MPs Feʻao Vakatā (independent) and Tevita Lavemaau (Democrat) were attending invitations from their  constituencies  and Poasi Tei (independent) has just left for New Zealand.

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