Prime Minister of Tonga

Prime Minister of the
Kingdom of Tonga
Coat of arms of Tonga.svg
Coat of arms of
the Kingdom of Tonga
Akilisi Pohiva ITU 2016.jpg
ʻAkilisi Pōhiva

since 30 December 2014
AppointerTupou VI
King of Tonga
Inaugural holderTēvita ʻUnga (Premier)
Fatafehi Tuʻipelehake (Prime Minister)
Formation1876 (Premier)
1970 (Prime Minister)
Coat of arms of Tonga.svg
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politics and government of

The Prime Minister (until 1970, Premier) of Tonga heads the government of the Kingdom of Tonga (His Majesty's government), while the King is the official head of the executive power.[1]

The office of Prime Minister was established by the Constitution of 1875, whose article 51 stipulates that the Prime Minister and other ministers are appointed and dismissed by the King.[2]

2000s democratization

During the 2000s, the country experienced an increase in democratization. In March 2006, King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV appointed Dr. Feleti Sevele, a moderate member of the Human Rights and Democracy Movement, as Prime Minister. Sevele was the first commoner to hold this post since Shirley Waldemar Baker in 1881. All the prime ministers since Baker had been members of the nobility, or even the royal family.[3]

In July 2008, King George Tupou V announced more substantial democratic reforms. He would abandon the essential part of his executive powers, and would henceforth follow the custom of monarchies such as the United Kingdom, exercising his prerogatives only with the Prime Minister's advice. In addition, he would no longer appoint the Prime Minister anyone he wished, but would appoint a member of the Legislative Assembly to be elected by the Legislative Assembly.[4][5][6]