Tonga. On January 4, the prime minister and nobleman Tu’ivakano presented his new government after the first democratic elections in the country’s history had been held in November 2010. Of the government’s twelve ministers, only two came from the Democratic Party of the Friendship Islands, who had received the majority of the elected elections. According to Countryaah official site, seven of the ministers were elected, three nobles and two did not sit in Parliament. The leader of the Friendship Islands Democratic Party, Akilisi Pohiva, was appointed Minister of Health, but resigned after only a week in protest of the removal of two ministers outside Parliament.
In April, four people were convicted as responsible for the 2009 ferry disaster when 74 passengers died. The trial lasted for seven weeks and was the largest criminal trial in Tonga’s history. The captain of the ferry, the first mate, the company’s CEO and a government official were convicted of killing a 21-year-old woman, the only one to be found afterwards. The director was sentenced to five years in prison, while the captain and the officer received a slightly lower sentence. In addition, the shipping company was sentenced to pay more than $ 1 million in fines. A smaller portion of the money would be used for scholarships at Tonga’s Maritime School and donated to a crisis center for women and children, in memory of the women who perished in the ferry accident. According to the accident report, the shipping company had used the ferry even though it was known that it had been classified as seaworthy already in 1985.