Members of the Legislative Assembly took their oaths this morning at the Parliament in Nuku’alofa.
Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 18/01/2018
The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Lord Fakafanua, Prime Minister Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva, Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament took their oaths this morning, the first session of the new parliamentary term 2018-2021,
The Prime Minister, Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva read out the list of Cabinet Ministers who he appointed and finalized and approved by His Majesty King Tupou V1.
The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Tourism is Hon. Semisi Sika
Minister of Finance and National Planning – Hon. Pohiva Tui’onetoan who was absent from this morning’s swearing-in ceremony.
The Minister of Land, Survey and Natural Resources – Lord Ma’afu
Minister of Education and Training – Hon. Penisimani ‘Epenisa Fifita
Minister of Health and Public Enterprises – Hon Dr. Saia Piukala
Minister of Law, Justice and Prison- Hon. Sione Vuna Faka’otusia
Minister for MEIDECC- Hon. Poasi Tei
Minister of Inland Revenue, Police and Fire Services – Hon. Mateni Tapueluelu
Minister of Internal Affairs – Hon. ‘Akosita Lavulavu
Minister of Commerce, Innovation, Trade and Labour – Hon. Tevita Tu’i Uata.
The Assembly also elected Ha’apai 13 representative to Parliament, Veivosa Taka as chairman of the Whole House Committee a position he held during the previous parliamentary term.
During this morning’s deliberation the Legislative Assembly approved the draft reply to his majesty’s address from the throne, reported by Selected Committee chairman Lord Havea Tu’iha’angana.
The Speaker of the House Lord Fakafanua appointed Tongatapu 5 MP Losaline Ma’asi and Lord Vaha’i to deliver the reply to his Majesty’s address from the throne on behalf of the members of Parliament.
A member of the House raised the status of health of the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa as he was absent from the swearing -in ceremony this morning.
The Speaker of Parliament – Lord Fakafanua clarified that the Minister’s appointment has been approved by the King and he can take his oath later. He added that Parliament has already received a leave of absentee certificate from the honourable Minister.
A similar issue was raised by Lord Nuku and Lord Tu’ilakepa concerning the health of the Prime Minister as there is a need for an accurate assessment of his health condition as Head of Government.
Speaker of the house was reluctant to allow deliberations on the health of the Prime minister because he was not present to respond to their queries.
Minister of Health – Dr. Saia Piukala however, told the house that the Prime Minister was not well and he is currently recovering. With no further details.
Parliament was adjourned until next Monday.
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