Lord Ma'afu Named Tonga Acting Prime Minister

Prime Minister's Office stated the new appointments were endorsed by the King yesterday, 5 September, for the new Minister for Finance and Deputy Prime Minister

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, September 06, 2017) – Lord Ma‘afu, named as Tonga's new Deputy Prime Minister this morning, has been Tonga's Acting Prime Minister since 1 September.

The Prime Minister's Office confirmed the backdating of the appointment in a statement this morning, 6 September.

Uncertainty over who was in charge, had left the Caretaker Government in a state of disarray, after the PM left for the Pacific Forum Leaders Meeting at the end of last week.

In this morning's statement the PMO said the appointments of the former Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni, and the former Minister of Finance and National Planning Hon. Tevita Lavemaau had been revoked.

Hon. Dr. Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa [Theology] becomes the new Minister for Finance and National Planning. The appointments, which were all backdated, are in addition to their current Ministerial portfolios.

Tuesday

According to the PMO statement the new appointments were endorsed by the King yesterday, 5 September.

The two outgoing ministers received their dismissal letters on September 4. But both had remained uncertain because they were waiting for the King to endorse the ministerial changes.

Today's statement from the PMO said that the Prime Minister Hon. Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva, had made recommendations to HM King Tupou VI on Friday, September 1, being "...in accordance with Clause 51 (3) (a) of the Act of Constitution of Tonga, to revoke the appointments of Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni, Deputy Prime Minister and Hon. Tevita Lavemaau, Minister for Finance and National Planning, effective from 1st September, 2017".

The Prime Minister recommended to the King the ministerial appointments of Lord Ma’afu, as Deputy Prime Minister and Hon. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa as Minister for Finance and National Planning in addition to their Ministerial Portfolios, also with effect from 1 September, 2017.

"On 5th September, 2017 a letter was received by the Prime Minister’s Office from the Lord Chamberlain, Palace Office to convey that His Majesty, King Tupou VIhas duly endorsed with the Royal Sign Manual, the appointments of Lord Ma'afu as Deputy Prime Minister and Hon. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa as Minister for Finance and National Planning, with effect from 1st September, 2017," stated the Prime Minister's Office this morning.

"While the Hon. Prime Minister is attending the 48th Meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum in Apia, Samoa, Lord Ma'afu, Deputy Prime Minister shall be Acting Prime Minister, with effect from 1st September, 2017," PMO stated today.

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