On December 30, Golden Year 11 (2014), The Honorable ‘Akilisi Pōhiva became Tonga’s second prime minister of the new democratic government.
Prime Minister Pōhiva has a long history of public service, beginning with his career as a teacher. In the 1970’s, he became active in the pro-democracy movement, later contributing to both their radio program and newsletter. He was first elected to parliament in 1987, making him the longest-serving parliamentarian in the country. Prime Minister Pōhiva has been internationally recognized for his contributions. In 2013, Parliamentarians for Global Action, an organization of legislators from around the world, honored Prime Minister Pōhiva with the Defender of Democracy Award for his efforts to promote greater democracy.
His Excellency campaigned for election on a platform of enhancing government transparency and accountability, and to create a framework of equality for all residents of Tonga. He also pledged to improve the economy and society of Tonga through good management of the island’s natural resources. He plans to lower the costs of electricity and water and to use the money saved from unnecessary government spending to expand social services.
In August 2015, His Excellency stated that Tonga banks should lower interest rates in support of local businesses.
Demonstrating His Excellency’s dedication to preserving the environment, in September 2015 at the General Assembly of the United Nations, Prime Minister Pōhiva emphasized Tonga’s commitment to ocean conservation and management.
Supreme Master Ching Hai congratulated Prime Minister Pōhiva on his election and expressed Her best wishes that he succeed in his efforts to improve the well-being of the beautiful people of Tonga. Her letter is above.