|Prime Minister of the|
Kingdom of Tonga
|Status||Head of government|
|Appointer||King of Tonga|
|Constituting instrument||Constitution of Tonga|
|Inaugural holder|| Tēvita ʻUnga (Premier)|
Fatafehi Tuʻipelehake (Prime Minister)
1970 (Prime Minister)
|Deputy||Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga|
|Salary||T$ 94,500 annually|
The prime minister of Tonga (historically referred to as the premier) is the country's head of government. Tonga is a monarchy with the king, currently Tupou VI, former prime minister, as head of state.The current prime minister is Siaosi Sovaleni, who was elected on 15 December 2021 and appointed on 27 December 2021. Sovaleni was elected with 16 votes.
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.
The prime minister is assisted by the Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga.
During the 2000s, the country experienced an increase in democratization. In March 2006, King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV appointed 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.
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.
|No.||Portrait||Name||Took office||Left office||Time in office||Party||Monarch|
|1 January 1876||18 December 1879 †||3 years, 351 days||Independent||George Tupou I|
|Vacant (18 December 1879 – April 1881)|
Shirley Waldemar Baker
|April 1881||July 1890||9 years, 3 months||Independent||George Tupou I|
|3||Siaosi Tukuʻaho |
|July 1890||1893||2–3 years||Independent||George Tupou I|
|4||Siosateki Veikune |
|1893||January 1905||11–12 years||Independent||George Tupou II|
|5||Siaosi Tuʻi Pelehake |
|January 1905||January 1905||0 months||Independent||George Tupou II|
|6||Sione Tupou Mateialona |
|January 1905||30 September 1912||7 years, 7 months||Independent||George Tupou II|
|7||Tevita Tuʻivakano |
|30 September 1912||30 June 1923||10 years, 304 days||Independent|| George Tupou II |
Sālote Tupou III
Viliami Tungī Mailefihi
|30 June 1923||20 July 1941||18 years, 20 days||Independent||Sālote Tupou III|
|9||Solomone Ula Ata |
|20 July 1941||12 December 1949||8 years, 145 days||Independent||Sālote Tupou III|
|12 December 1949||16 December 1965||16 years, 4 days||Independent||Sālote Tupou III|
|16 December 1965||22 August 1991||25 years, 249 days||Independent||Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV|
|12||Baron Vaea |
|22 August 1991||3 January 2000||8 years, 134 days||Independent||Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV|
ʻAhoʻeitu ʻUnuakiʻotonga Tukuʻaho
|3 January 2000||11 February 2006||6 years, 39 days||Independent||Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV|
|14||Lord Sevele of Vailahi |
|30 March 2006||22 December 2010||4 years, 314 days||HRDM|| Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV |
George Tupou V
|15||Lord Tuʻivakanō |
|22 December 2010||30 December 2014||4 years, 8 days||Independent|| George Tupou V |
|16||ʻAkilisi Pōhiva |
|30 December 2014||12 September 2019 †||4 years, 256 days||DPFI||Tupou VI|
|—||Semisi Sika |
|12 September 2019||8 October 2019||26 days||DPFI||Tupou VI|
|17||Pōhiva Tuʻiʻonetoa |
|8 October 2019||27 December 2021||2 years, 80 days||TPPI||Tupou VI|
|18||Siaosi Sovaleni |
|27 December 2021||Incumbent||316 days||Independent||Tupou VI|
As of November 2022, there are four living former Tongan prime ministers, including King Tupou VI, as seen below. This listing excludes former acting prime ministers.
Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV was the King of Tonga, from the death of his mother, Queen Sālote Tupou III, in 1965 until his own death in 2006.
Tupou VI is the King of Tonga. He is the younger brother and successor of the late King George Tupou V. He was officially confirmed by his brother on 27 September 2006 as the heir presumptive to the Throne of Tonga, as his brother had no legitimate children. He served as Tonga's High Commissioner to Australia, and resided in Canberra until the death of King George Tupou V on 18 March 2012, when ʻAhoʻeitu ʻUnuakiʻotonga Tukuʻaho became King of Tonga, with the regnal name Tupou VI.
George Tupou V was the King of Tonga from the death of his father Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV in 2006 until his own death six years later.
Feleti Vakaʻuta Sevele, Lord Sevele of Vailahi was the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga from 30 March 2006 to 22 December 2010.
Siaosi ʻAlipate Halakilangi Tau’alupeoko Vaea Tupou, more commonly known as Baron Vaea, was a Tongan politician who served as Prime Minister of Tonga. Vaea was a nephew of Queen Sālote, who ruled Tonga from 1918 until 1965, and a member of the Tongan nobility. His career in the Tongan government spanned 54 years.
Samiuela ʻAkilisi Pōhiva was a Tongan pro-democracy activist and politician. Pohiva, the leader of the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands (DPFI), served as the Prime Minister of Tonga from 2014 to his death in 2019. He was only the fourth commoner to serve as Prime Minister, and the first commoner to be elected to that position by Parliament rather than appointed by the King.
Early general elections under a new electoral law were held in Tonga on 25 November 2010. They determined the composition of the 2010 Tongan Legislative Assembly.
William Clive Edwards OBE is a Tongan barrister and politician who formerly served as a Cabinet Minister and Acting Deputy Prime Minister. He is a member of the People's Democratic Party.
Samiu Kuita Vaipulu is a Tongan politician and Cabinet Minister. He was the Tongan Deputy Prime Minister from 2010 to 2014 and is currently Minister for Trade and Economic Development.
ʻAisake Valu Eke is a Tongan politician and former Cabinet Minister.
A by-election was held for the ʻEua Noble seat to the Legislative Assembly of Tonga on 2 August 2012. It was triggered by the dismissal from Parliament of the incumbent, the Speaker Lord Lasike, following his conviction for illegal possession of ammunition in July.
Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa is a Tongan accountant and politician who served as the 17th Prime Minister of Tonga from 2019 to 2021. Tu'i'onetoa succeeded Semisi Sika, who had served as acting prime minister, since the death of ʻAkilisi Pōhiva.
Saia Ma’u Piukala is a Tongan politician, surgeon, and Cabinet Minister.
Siaosi ‘Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni is a Tongan politician who has served as the Prime Minister of Tonga since 2021. He has previously served as a Cabinet Minister, and from 2014 to 2017, he was Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga.
Semisi Tauelangi Fakahau was a Tongan politician and Cabinet Minister. He was a member of the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands.
Tevita Lavemaau is a Tongan politician and Member of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga.
Viliami Manuopangai Faka’osiula Hingano was a Tongan politician and Cabinet Minister.
General elections were held in Tonga on 18 November 2021 to elect 17 of the 26 seats in the Legislative Assembly.
ʻEseta Fuafolau Vakapuna ʻa Ngu Fusituʻa, styled Dowager Lady Fusituʻa is a Tongan former teacher, government official and Cabinet Minister. She was the first Tongan woman to obtain a Bachelor's Degree.
Siaosi Taimani ʻAho was a Tongan diplomat, civil servant, politician, and Cabinet minister. He was Tonga's first Commissioner for Public Relations.