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Resignation of Tongan Prime Minister

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand

14 February 2006 Media Statement

Resignation of Tongan Prime Minister

Prime Minister Helen Clark today said that she wished the outgoing Prime Minister of Tonga well for the future.

"I have met with Prince ‘Ulukalala Lavaka Ata on many occasions over the past six years, especially in the context of Pacific Island Forums. I wish him well for the future,” Helen Clark said.

Fred Sevele, an elected People’s Representative and Minister of Labour, Commerce and Industries, was appointed Acting Prime Minister following the resignation of Prince 'Ulukalala Lavaka Ata at the weekend.

"I look forward to meeting Mr Sevele during his time as Acting Prime Minister,” Helen Clark said.

Mr Sevele has been active in the pro-democracy movement in Tonga and was the first commoner to fill the role of Prime Minister when he served briefly as Acting Prime Minister last year.

Tonga will be hosting the Pacific Islands Forum this year in August.


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