26 Nov 2010

Tonga election winners plan to co-opt two independents

2:42 pm on 26 November 2010

The Friendly Islands Democratic Party, which dominated yesterday's elections in Tonga, plans to offer cabinet posts to two independents who won seats, to give it a majority in the 26-seat assembly.

The Democratic Party won 12 seats but already has the backing of another MP and is seeking the support of Aisake Eke, who won the Tongatapu Number Five seat, and Sunia Fili who won the Eua constituency.

Our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, says the cabinet is limited to 12 members but offering portfolios is the only inducement available to the party.

"They need two more. That's why they've been focussing on these two independent candidates, so they have the majority. One of the then [Sunia Fili] is a former of the pro-democracy movement and the other is the former accountant general of Tonga, so very qualified candidates indeed."