Second failure no concern for Tongan election candidate
Auckland domiciled Tongan election candidate plans to try for a seat again. Unsuccessful Tongan election candidate undaunted by failure.
A Tongan who practices law in Auckland and who has unsuccessfully contested the past two Tongan elections says he is still keen and will run again.
Sione Fonua leads the oldest political party in the country, Paati Langafonua Tu'uloa, and while it is yet to win any seats in parliament, he is undeterred.
Mr Fonua garnered over 500 votes in the Tongatapu No 2 seat in last month's election, but finished a long way behind the winner, Semisi Sika.
He says he was not there long enough to have a bigger impact but told Don Wiseman he was still pleased with the result.
SIONE FONUA: I did what I could have done at the time. I managed to get some supporters while I was there and they were working very hard in my campaigning and that's what made the difference, getting the local support working with me while I was there.
DON WISEMAN: It's four years until the next scheduled election. Do you imagine you might run again?
SF: As far as I feel now I am still interested and I am working on the team that will campaign in the next election so I will have to get that team organised. But I think that is the first step that I will have to make, having a team there. And I will be spending more time over there now than before.
DW: Why is it so important for an Auckland-based Tongan to be running for parliament in Tonga?
SF: It's something that I feel quite strongly that needs to be done in Tonga and I am hoping that, in the changes that are happening now, Tonga is going to move in the right direction. At the moment it's really ... the situation in Tonga is very low ... it needs a lot of direction and I think they need a good leader there.
DW: I guess it's still a couple of weeks before we find out who the Prime Minister might be. Do you think a good leader's going to emerge from the lot that have been elected?
SF: There are quite a lot of new MPs elected this election and some of them I know. I think they can do a very good job and as far as the new MPs elected, we have to wait and see how they perform when the cabinet is appointed. But the key issue now is getting the Prime Minister and my understanding is that the nobles have finally agreed that they are not going to put anyone of them as candidates for the premiership so it looks like they are looking for an elected MP by the people to be the PM.
DW: So it's likely ... one of the people put up is Akilisi Pohiva, but there's going to be someone else from the independents?
SF: Yes the names I have heard is Samiu Vaipulu, the current deputy Prime Minister. So they may have changed their mind later on but they are the names that were put forward.
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