New Tongan Prime Minister elected after secret ballot vote

Barbara Dreaver
Source: 1News

Siaosi Sovaleni is Tonga’s new Prime Minister after he took 16 out of the 26 votes in a secret ballot in the Kingdom’s Legislative Assembly on Wednesday afternoon.

Sovaleni, the Education Minister before the November general elections, was first elected into parliament in 2014 and was Deputy Prime Minister under the late Akilisi Pohiva.

The incumbent Prime Minister Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa pulled out of the race some days ago after failing to get the backing he needed.

He threw his support behind former finance minister ‘Aisake Eke, the only other nominee in the battle for the top job, but Siaosi Sovaleni, who was the favourite, has comfortably won the vote.