27 Feb 2017

Tonga's Pohiva survives no confidence vote

8:13 pm on 27 February 2017

Efforts by Tonga's nobles to remove Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva have failed.

The nobles, with some support from independents in the parliament, could muster just ten votes to the 14 in support of the prime minister.

One member of cabinet, Aisake Eke, the Finance Minister abstained.

Mr Pohiva, the first commoner elected to lead the country, has been prime minister for just over two years.

Tongan Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva.

Tongan Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva. Photo: RNZI/Alex Perrottet

The country's nobles have been leading a campaign to remove him, but Mr Pohiva said their complaints had no basis.

Meanwhile it has been reported that Lord Ma'afu, who is a member of Mr Pohiva's government, has been abandoned by the country's other nobles.

The Kaniva Tonga website reported the other 32 nobles had signed an agreement to ostracise Lord Ma'afu.

They had also said that if they succeeded in ousting Mr Pohiva they would not have given a ministerial role to Lord Ma'afu.

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