19 Jul 2012

Tonga names new Speaker after Lord Lasike barred from Parliament

12:47 pm on 19 July 2012

The protracted attempt by Tonga's Democratic Party to hold a vote for a motion of no confidence has been further delayed following the appointment of a new Speaker.

The Legislative Assembly this morning chose Lord Fakafanua to replace Lord Lasike, who was barred from parliament this week following his conviction on weapon offences.

But Lord Fakafanua's appointment still needs to be signed off by King Tupou the 6th forcing parliament to adjourn until Monday.

The leader of the Democrats, Akilisi Pohiva, says he is also expecting the government to seek a further adjournment to allow it to elect another noble to shore up its numbers.

"I think the nobles will put through to Parliament a motion to delay Parliament until they appoint a noble to replace the vacant seat on the noble side."