MEMBERS of Parliament including the Lord Speaker Fakafanua and the Hon. Prime Minister, ‘Akilisi Pohiva were sworn into office today.
The Hon. PM also introduced his new Cabinet before taking their oath of office as well.
All Cabinet Ministers were present except for the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning Dr. Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa.
He is currently on leave on medical grounds.
Parliament also appointed incumbent Ha'apai 13 MP, Veivosa Taka as Chairman of the Whole House Committee.
Also on today's agenda, was Report No. 1 of the Select Committee assigned to respond to the King's speech.
Parliament approved the Select Committee's report and appointed Tongatapu 5 MP, Losaline Ma'asi and Tongatapu 3 Noble Representative Lord Vaha'i to submit the House's response to the King.
Other matters raised in today’s sitting was concerning the Finance and National Planning Minister Dr. Tu’i’onetoa and the health condition of the PM.
‘Eua People Representative Tevita Lavemaau raised his concern about the PM’s state of health. He said Hon. Pohiva was hospitalized in the New Year and this worries the public.
So far no public information has been released on what the actual ailment the PM is suffering from. Apart from that, the only available information to the media was that he remained in the Intensive Care Unit and was recovering well.
The Health Minister, Dr. Saia Piukala confirmed that Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva’s health condition is stabled. He emphasized that is unethical for him to disclose the health condition of the Prime Minister. Therefore, he was convinced there is a certain period of time for a patient to recover. Hence, the PM is recovering.
Deputy Speaker Lord Tu’ilakepa said despite the PM’s health condition, it should be revealed publicly. He said the public should know because Hon. Pohiva is the head of the nation.
The Prime Minister left Parliament before the morning session ended.
Parliament is adjourned until next Monday.