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Tonga begins by-election process for Pohiva's seat

 The Speaker of the House, Lord Fakafanua, (left), and the late PM 'Akilisi Pohiva.
Source: RNZI

Nuku'alofa, TONGA — The Speaker of the Tonga Legislative Assembly, Lord Fakafanua, has announced nominations have been opened to fill the parliamentary seat made vacant by the death of 'Akilisi Pohiva.

The former prime minister died last week and was buried yesterday in Nuku'alofa.

Nominations for Mr Pohiva's seat in Nuku'alofa will close next Thursday with the Electoral Commission to announce the election date later.

RNZ Pacific's correspondent in Tonga said a leading contender would be Mr Pohiva's eldest son, Siaosi, while environmental scientist Netatua Taufatofua, who stood in 2017, could also run.

Meanwhile, Lord Fakafanua said the election of a Prime Minister Designate needed to go ahead before the by-election because there was a clear constitutional timeline to be followed when the post became vacant.