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Pro-democracy leader says party deserves more posts

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 29, 2010) – A pro-democracy leader in Tonga, Akilisi Pohiva, says he and another member of his Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands have been offered portfolios in Cabinet following last month’s election.

The Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano, who was one of the nobles’ representatives, is still putting together his Cabinet and has until January the 13th to complete the process.

Mr Pohiva says he has been offered Health, while the Tongatapu number 4 people’s representative, Isileli Pulu, has been offered Education.

But Mr Pohiva says his party would expect to be offered further positions:

"There are 12 constituencies in our parties, so we have the majority, we’re getting more than 70 per cent of the total population of Tonga, our party strongly feels that the new Prime Minister should give our party a fair allocation of the Cabinet Ministers because we are the majority."

Mr Pohiva says he believes a fair share of Cabinet posts would be six out of the 13.

He understands four posts have been offered to independents from outer island constituencies.

The Prime Minister has the option to bring four non-MPs into Cabinet as well

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