30 Dec 2014

Tonga's new PM 'win' for democracy

8:15 am on 30 December 2014

A Tongan political scientist says the election of Tonga's new prime minister is a significant win for democracy.

Akilisi Pohiva, 73, won a secret parliamentary vote for the role.

He has fought for 40 years for democracy in Tonga and been jailed for his actions.

The head of Massey University's Pasifika centre, Malakai Kolomatangi, said people will expect Mr Pohiva to make sure the government is accountable to the people.

He said Mr Pohiva will need to surround himself with the right people to avoid the risk of disappointing the public.

Meanwhile, Mr Pohiva has been rushed home by his family who said he is "really sick".

Matangi Tonga reports Mr Pohiva's son in law, Mateni Tapueluelu, told media waiting outside parliament house that Mr Pohiva was unable to give them comment, as the family needed to take him home to rest.

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