Tonga's Nobles have withdrawn their candidate for Prime Minister and instead opted for an independent representative Samiu Vaipulu.
Matangi Tonga reports that the nine nobles have agreed to pull Lord Vaea from the running and have given preliminary support to Mr Vaipulu.
A spokesperson for the seven independents says negotiations are ongoing.
All nominations for Prime Minister have to be submitted to the Interim Speaker by December 23rd.
The Democratic Party leader 'Akilisi Pohiva is also understood to be putting his name forward for Prime Minister Designate.