15 Dec 2017

Tongan MPs to vote for PM on Monday

9:55 am on 15 December 2017
Tonga's Parliament building.

Tonga's Parliament building. Photo: RNZ Pacific/Koro Vaka'uta

Members of Tonga's parliament will vote for their prime minister on Monday morning.

The interim speaker Lord Tangi, made the announcement this morning, a day after nominations for the position closed.

Two people were put forward as candidates, one by Tongatapu Democratic Party MP Pohiva Tu'ionetoa and the other by Vava'u representative, Samiu Vaipulu.

MPs will now meet at Parliament to conduct the ballot on Monday at 10am.

The names of the candidates will be revealed at the meeting.

The two candidates will get the opportunity to state their cases before the vote.

Once the Prime Minister Designate is elected, the speaker and deputy speaker of the house will also be voted for.

Nominations opened at the beginning of the month with Lord Tangi inviting the 26 MPs to submit their preferred candidate.

The first nomination was received on the 5th of December, delivered by Mr Tu'ionetoa.

The second nomination wasn't received until the last possible day from Mr Vaipulu.

Interim Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva's Democratic party won 14 of the 17 People's seats during the November 16 election, placing their candidate in a position of strength.

There are also nine seats set aside for Nobles in the House.