HM King George Tupou V appointed Lord Tu’ivakano as Tonga’s new Prime Minister at noon today, December 22, during an audience at the king’s residence, The Villa. Lord Tu’ivakano, accompanied by his wife Lady Robyn Tu’ivakano, met with the king for nearly an hour. Lord Tu’ivakano is understood to have held his first meeting as Prime Minister with all Government Head of Departments this afternoon. He is also expected to make a national address to the people on December 23. His appointment today marks the start of the new democratic elected government in which he is expected to select his Cabinet on a date to be confirmed. The Government of Tonga starts its Christmas and New Year holidays from December 23, 2010 to January 3, 2011.