TONGA CABINET UNDERGOES OVERHAUL

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Minister of Justice resigns, two new faces

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, May 5, 2009) – The Tonga Cabinet is undergoing a reshuffle as two new Ministers take-up the portfolios of Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries Forestry; and Minister of Information and Communication; while the Minister of Justice is resigning.

The Ministry of Information website confirmed on April 30, that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General Hon 'Alisi Taumoepeau is resigning from her Cabinet position effective on May 30.

Her resignation now leaves three Ministerial portfolios vacant in the Cabinet in addition to the vacated portfolios of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence and Minister of Police, replacements have yet to be announced.

In the meantime the Deputy Prime Minister Hon Dr Viliami Tangi takes over as the Acting Minister of Police vacated by Hon. Siaosi 'Aho who is Tonga's new High Commissioner in Wellington.

While the Prime Minister Hon Dr Feleti Sevele adds to his portfolios the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Defence vacated by Hon. Tu'a Taumoepeau Tupou who was appointed as Tonga's Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

At the same time Noble Tuita, the Minister of Lands, Survey, Natural Resources and Environment becomes the Acting Governor of Vava'u.

New ministers

HSH Prince Tu'ipelehake was appointed on April 30 as the new Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Forestry at a Prayer Service held at the Free Wesleyan Church in Pelehake. Hon Fanetupouvava'u Tu'ivakano from the Office of the Lord Chamberlain read out the Tu'ipelehake's Letter of Appointment from HM King George Tupou V effective on April 30

Prince Tu'ipelehake's appointment fills the Ministerial portfolio following the resignation of the former Minister of Agriculture Peauafi Haukinima in 2007.

Present at the Tu'ipelehake's appointment service was HRH Princess Pilolevu Tuita, the guest of honour, wife Princess 'Ene'io, the Prime Minister Hon Dr Feleti Sevele and Cabinet Ministers.

While the former Secretary and Chief Secretary to Cabinet 'Eseta Fusitu'a was appointed as the new Minister of Information and Communication the same afternoon in Nuku'alofa.

Lord Chamberlain Viela Tupou read out 'Eseta's letter of appointment at her home in Kolomotu'a.

Matangi Tonga: www.matangitonga.to/nav.html

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