17 Dec 2014

Tongan Demos rely on Indies split for PM spot

4:35 pm on 17 December 2014

The Democratic Party nominee for Prime Minister of Tonga is still upbeat about his chances despite growing support for independent representative Samiu Vaipulu.

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva.

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva. Photo: RNZ

Mr Vaipulu has received preliminary support from the nine nobles who have pulled their own candidate from the race.

Democratic Party leader 'Akilisi Pohiva is in the running but only has the support of his 10 affiliated representatives so far.

A successful Prime Minister Designate must have more than half the secretly made votes of the 26 representatives.

Mr Pohiva says his hope is in splintering the seven-strong independent bloc.

"Independent representatives are still making allowances for negotiations and discussions until early next week. It's still going on. There is still a hope for independent representatives to support our nomination."

All nominations for Prime Minister have to be submitted to the Interim Speaker by December 23rd.