21 Oct 2019

Tonga byelection: Local issues could be pivotal

11:08 am on 21 October 2019

Just two candidates will contest the constituency made vacant by the death of Tonga's former prime minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva, last month.

They are Mr Pohiva's eldest son, Siaosi, and noted scientist Netatua Prescott Taufatofua.

 'Akilisi Pohiva

The electorate was left vacant by the death of prime minister 'Akilisi Pohiva. Photo: RNZ/Koro Vaka'uta

'Akilisi Pohiva held the Tongatapu seat of Kolomotu'a for 32 years, often winning by huge margins.

Our correspondent in Tonga says Siaosi Pohiva will contest the November 28 by-election on the same plank his father used -- advocating for transparency and good governance.

Kalafi Moala says Ms Taufatofua is promising action on long ignored local issues.

"This district is probably the most undeveloped district in all of Tonga. It is affected badly by flooding, the roads are some of the worst roads in Tonga," said Mr Moala.

"There is nothing that has been developed or shown, particularly over the last five years since 'Akilisi Pohiva became the prime minister."