THE HONOURABLE SAMUELA ‘AKILISI POHIVA –Prime Minister, Government of the Kingdom of Tonga, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Minister for Education and Training
Honourable Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva became Tonga’s second Prime Minister of the new democratic Government in December 2014 (Tonga’s 16th Prime Minister). He has been an active representative of the People, serving consecutive terms as leading MP (oldest member) and People’s Representative for Tongatapu for 28 years since 1987.
Prior to being elected Prime Minister of Tonga in December 2014, Pohiva was once appointed a Cabinet Minister for Health in January 2011, by his predecessor Lord Tu’ivakano.
In Parliament, Pohiva held a number of positions, including Chairman of the Select Committee for Investigating of the China Funds for the Reconstruction of the Nuku’alofa CBD, People’s Representative Number 3 to the Tongatapu Constituency (1987-1989), and later became People’s Representative for the Tongatapu 1 Constituency (2010-present).
Career outside politics
For many years, Pōhiva worked as a teacher and later studied at the University of the South Pacific before joining the Tongan Teacher Training Staff. He also taught History and Sociology at the Tongan Campus of the University.
Pohiva became active in Tonga’s pro-democracy movement in the late 1970s, and in the early 1980s contributed to their monthly radio programme, “Matalafo Laukai”. He then became assistant editor of the democracy movement’s monthly newsletter, Kele’a. In 1987, Pohiva was also Co-founder of the Friendly Islands Human Rights & Democracy Movement Inc, (FIHRDM),
During that time Pohiva has served other key experiences in public oration, socio-economic and political analysis, conflict analysis and resolution as well as participated in regional and international dialogues on critical parliamentary issues.
The Honourable Prime Minister holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree Majoring in History/Politics and Sociology from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji (1978).
As Prime Minister, Pohiva is the head of the Tongan government and is ultimately responsible for the policy and decisions of the government.
As head of the Tongan Government, the Prime Minister also oversees the operation of the Public Service and government agencies; appoints members of the government and is the principal government figure in the Legislative Assembly of Tonga.
Minister for Foreign Affair and Trade
The Minister for the Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible for assisting Government’s bilateral and foreign relations with other governments as well provide advice on the implementations of foreign and trade policy objectives for the Kingdom of Tonga. The role has always been held by the Prime Minister since 2006.
Minister for Internal Affairs
The Prime Minister also has the role of Minister for Internal Affairs.