Tongan prime minister dead at 78

Reuters File Photo

Tongan Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva died Thursday in a New Zealand hospital, according to local media. He was 78.

Pohiva was referred to the hospital for pneumonitis on Wednesday in Auckland, said media reports.

Tongan parliament was suspended until further notice, Radio New Zealand reported.

Pohiva, who started his career as a teacher, was elected in for first time to office in 1987 and became one of the pioneers of the democracy movement.

After his duties in Human Rights and Democracy Movement, Pohiva took leadership of the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands and was prime minister from 2014 until his death.

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