22 Dec 2010

Academic encourages new Tonga government to embrace pro-democracy MPs

2:40 pm on 22 December 2010

A political scientist says the new prime minister of Tonga could bring pro-democracy leader, Akilisi Pohiva, into cabinet as part of a government of national unity.

Mr Pohiva yesterday lost out to Noble Tu'ivakano in his bid for the prime ministership.

Canterbury University's Dr Malakai Koloamatangi says while the nobles have retained control the political reforms ensure they can be held to account by the rest of the assembly.

And he says Noble Tu'ivakano should offer an olive branch to Mr Pohiva.

"Perhaps offering him the deputy prime ministership maybe, and a couple of ministerial portfolios to his group. We have done with the election, we have done with the selection of the PM. It's now time to rebuild the country as it were, and you need a government of national unity anyway, which is something that [Mr] Pohiva had hoped for, but just because you are not prime minister doesn't mean you should stay out of government."