Former Tonga PM Tu’ionetoa passes away

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Former Tongan Prime Minister Dr Pohiva Tu’ionetoa has passed away at the weekend.

He had been receiving medical assistance in the United States.

Tonga’s Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet, Paula Ma’u, confirmed the death to RNZ Pacific.

An official government statement will be released soon.

Tu’ionetoa was 71 and is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.

He was the country’s 17th Prime Minister and was a former Finance Minister in the government of the late Samiuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva.

The late Tu’ionetoa became Prime Minister following his predecessor ‘Akilisi’s death in 2019.

In the current parliament he was the member for Tongatapu 10.

SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/ PACNEWS