31 Dec 2014

Tonga leader names one noble in Cabinet

3:07 pm on 31 December 2014

Tonga's new prime minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva, says it was vital he include a member of the nobility in his new cabinet.

Mr Pohiva has now named his cabinet and has Lord Ma'afu as minister of lands and natural resources.

This follows Mr Pohiva's defeat of another People's Representative, Samiu Vaipulu, in the race to become prime minister on Monday.

Prime Minister's office, Tonga

Prime Minister's office, Tonga Photo: Supplied

That parliamentary vote was marked by all the nobles supporting Mr Vaipulu, but this has not deterred the new leader.

"We need to include one of the nobles in the Cabinet because we still want to be seen as a united Cabinet in which representatives of the people and representatives of the nobles can work together from now on."

'Akilisi Pohiva, who is to also be foreign minister.

He has made independent MP and former prominent public servant, Siaosi Sovaleni, his deputy prime minister and the minister for the environment and communication.

Aisake Eke retains the finance portfolio and the former auditor general, Dr Pohiva Tuionetoa is the new police minister.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs