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Tonga

Yearbook 2019

Tonga. In September, the country's prime minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva, passed away at the age of 78. Pohiva spent much of the year in Auckland, New Zealand, where he was treated for liver problems. According to CountryAAH, former teacher Pohiva was for a long time a central figure in Tonga's democracy movement and was elected to parliament for the first time in 1987. There he worked for democratic reforms which in 2010 became reality when constitutional changes transferred executive power completely from the king to the government. Pohiva led the Friendship Islands Democratic Party (DPFI) to election victory in 2014 and became associated with this Prime Minister. He remained after the election victory in 2017. Over 3,000 people attended the state funeral that Pohiva was honored. As new head of government, Parliament elected Finance Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, who received more votes than Acting Prime Minister Semisi Sika. A key to the victory is believed to have been that Tu'i'onetoa earlier this week, along with three other members, left the DPFI. Tu'i'onetoa then formed a new party called the People's Party. He was formally sworn in as prime minister in early October. The next parliamentary election is scheduled for 2021.

2019 Tonga

In March, plans to build Oceania's largest solar power plant on the main island of Tongatapu were announced. The project will be realized with the help of the Asian Development Bank, Australia and New Zealand. Already in July this year, the country's first solar power plant, which is not connected to the public electricity grid, was inaugurated. The plant will provide renewable energy to the approximately 750 residents of the northern Niuas Islands.

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