30 Dec 2014

Tonga's new PM being sworn in

10:39 am on 30 December 2014

Tonga's newly elected prime minister, Akilisi Pohiva, is this morning being sworn in by King Tupou the 6th.

Mr Pohiva was elected yesterday, winning a vote over independent MP, Samiu Vaipulu, by 15 votes to 11.

He was rushed home last evening with his family saying he was really sick, but Kalafi Moala, who works closely with Mr Pohiva's Democratic Party, says he was exhausted but able to return to work today.

This afternoon he is expected to name his cabinet of 12 with reports that it is unlikely to include any nobles after they all voted against his appointment on Monday.

A number of the independent MPs who have backed Mr Pohiva are in line for Cabinet posts.

The Tonga Legislature also yesterday elected the outgoing prime minister, Lord Tu'ivakano, as its speaker.