Tongan Foreign Affairs Minister Steps Down From Position

On March 26th, Tongan Foreign Affairs Minister Fekita ‘Utoikamau reportedly stepped down from the position after King Tupou VI withdrew support from the minister.

Fetika’s stepping down as minister occurred on the same day as Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni also stepped down as defense minister.

Hu’akavameiliku’s reportedly resigned after a meeting with the PM and a team of Cabinet officials held with the king in early March. The PM sent a proposal to King Tupou that recommended his son, Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala, be appointed as both Defense and Foreign Affairs Ministers. Tupouto’a is already a senior official at the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The government is expected to make a formal announcement after a Privy Council meeting that the King will preside over in the future.

Sources indicate that a large segment of the Tongan public is unhappy about the recent actions by the King, which are described as a “very bad move.”