22 Mar 2005

Tonga puts popularly-elected MPs in Cabinet for first time

9:18 am on 22 March 2005

Tonga has for the first time appointed to Cabinet, MPs who've been elected by the people.

The Prime Minister, Prince 'Ulukalala Lavaka Ata, last night told TV Tonga that Fred Sevele would become Labour minister, and Peauafi Haukinima would take over the Forestry portfolio.

Both MPs were chosen last week by the so-called commoners.

Mr Sevele says the ministerial post is both an honour and a challenge for him.

He says he'll work hard to uphold truth and honesty.

Mr Haukinima says he's prepared to face the challenges ahead and he will do everything to the very best of his ability.

Two other new Cabinet members have been chosen from amongst the ranks of the nobility.

The Honourable Tu'ivakano becomes minister of works, and the Honourable Nuku becomes police minister.