NOMINATIONS FOR TONGA PRIME MINISTER DUE NEXT

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Parliament to vote after December 16 deadline.

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Dec. 6, 2010) – The Interim Speaker of the Tonga Legislative Assembly, Lord Tupou, must receive from elected representatives their nomination for a Prime Minister, on or before December 16, 2010.

At a press conference on December 3 Lord Tupou, clarified the procedure for the nomination and appointment of a Prime Minister.

The presentation was attended by local media and about 10 elected representatives and some of the Noble's Representatives,

Lord Tupou said the nomination of a designated Prime Minister should be seconded or supported by two other elected representatives.

He said that any representatives who had put through their nomination seconded by two candidates were not allowed to propose or second any other candidate. Any nomination contrary to this direction would be invalid.

He said that the schedule required the Interim Speaker to call for nominations within 10 days from December 2, and all nominations for a Prime Minister Designate must be received by him within 14 days from December 2.

The closed envelopes containing the nominations would be opened on 17 December by the Interim Speaker.

He added that within three days from December 16, he would hold a meeting of all elected Representatives of the People and of the Nobles to decide who they shall recommend to be appointed Prime Minister.

At this first meeting a secret ballot would be conducted and if one candidate receives more than half the votes, the Interim Speaker shall report to the king, the names of the elected representatives’ recommendation for Prime Minister.

The meeting would still continue, regardless if some of the candidates do not turn up, he said.

At the press conference at the Fa'onelua Convention Centre were People Representatives 'Akilisi Pohiva, Sitiveni Halapua, Sione Taione, Kaveinga Fa'anunu, Sifa Tu'utafaiva, Semisi Tapueluelu, Sunia Fili, Lisiate 'Akolo, 'Uliti Uata and Viliami Latu.

Nobles attending included Vaea, Tu'ivakano, Fusitu'a, Fakafanua, Lasike, Tu'iha'ateiho and Tu'ilakepa.

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