Government

Tonga government less accountable - Opposition MP

Siaosi Pohiva, the son of the late prime minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva, wants to continue his father's push for greater accountability.

Campaigns by his father's administration to wrest control of key appointments, such as the attorney-general and police commander, from King Tupou VI, failed.

'Akilisi Pohiva felt the government not having this authority meant the holders of those positions did not feel accountable to the people.

Now Siaosi Pohiva claims the situation has worsened with the King set to appoint the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

Tonga's government backs 2006 riots investigation

It follows a call from the King in his closing speech to parliament last week.

A government spokesperson, Lopeti Senituli, said Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva would welcome a commission of inquiry.

But he said he was not sure what it would achieve, given that criminal prosecutions have already taken place.

"At the moment there hasn't been any discussion at all about what the commission is going to do, who is going to be the members of the commission etc., nothing."

 

Photo RNZ. Caption: Government spokesperson, Lopeti Senituli,

 

Multiple petitions call for dissolution of Tonga Parliament

Matangi Tonga reported the petitions, presented on Monday, come alongside claims there were no checks and balances and corruption existed in government.

A former government minister Clive Edwards presented a petition signed by former politicians.

Noble MP Lord Nuku presented a petition from the country's nobles.

The third petition was presented by former MP Teisina Fuko from members of the general public.

Clive Edwards said he believed that once a Royal Commission for Investigation was appointed, a caretaker government would need to be put in place.

Fiji opposition says govt evading being served with legal papers

SODELPA and the National Federation Party had 24 hours to serve all FijiFirst MPs with the legal papers as part of their action disputing last month's election results.

SODELPA MP Lynda Tabuya said bailiffs had been trying to serve the papers on the MPs at the office of the Attorney General but had not been allowed in.

She said some of the MPs had spent the night in the offices and food had been supplied throughout the day.

Tonga’s defence against Pacific Games Council lawsuit in process, says government

Lōpeti Senituli did not give further details about the claim by the Council yesterday that the government did not file its defence in time.

Acting Attorney General ‘Aminiasi Kefu said his “Office is not handling this matter for Government.”

“The Prime Minister’s Office has engaged outside counsel,” he said.

Pacific Games Council’s Chief Executive, Andrew Minogue reportedly said the council would call for a legal judgement to be made in their favour.

Petition to impeach Tonga PM and ministers due Friday

The Secretary-General of the Public Service Association, Mele 'Amanaki, said a six member committee, including herself, organised the petition.

Ms 'Amanaki, was a candidate in the last two general elections.

Matangi Tonga reported the petition had been posted online for in an effort to gather more signatures.

The call for impeachment was for 'Akilisi Pohiva and six of his ministers, namely Semisi Sika, Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, Penisimani Fifita, Mateni Tapueluelu, Vuna Fa'otusia and Tu'i Uata.

PM confirms Government to build new Siamelie market

Pōhiva said he talked to the noble, who is also the Speaker of Parliament, early last month about government leasing the land in which Lord Fakafanua agreed.

The Prime Minister said the new market was one of the much-needed projects the government has projected over the next four years.

He said there were too many sellers for Talamahu, Tonga’s only national market.

As Kaniva News reported in 2015, the government moved vendors who used to sell their agricultural produce on footpaths in Maʻufanga to Siamelie open air market.

Pohiva needed to meet Tongan King more often - Eke

In August the King dissolved Parliament and called elections a year early because of concerns 'Akilsi Pohiva's government had acted unconstitutionally and was trying to gather power for itself.

In the lead-up to next week's vote, the government has continued with calls for cabinet members to be added to the King's Privy Council, which advises him on governance and legal matters.

But 'Aisake Eke, who is seeking re-election for a third time, said there was no need for cabinet places on the council if the Prime Minister was doing his job.

Solomons opposition accuses govt of bribery

The government of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is facing a vote of no confidence in parliament next week, after a series of defections from the government.

Mr Sogavare on Thursday announced moves to consolidate his coalition government, announcing eight new ministers.

But in a statement, the opposition group said that consolidation had included attempts at bribery.

It accuses the forestry minister Bradley Tovosia of trying to bribe MP Alfred Ghiro with cash and the fisheries portfolio, which he rejected.

     

Lawyer claims Tonga govt controlling media

The new chair of the public broadcaster Tu'i Uata began his tenure by moving editor Laumanu Petelo and news manager Viola Ulakai into the marketing department.

Both journalists had run-ins this year with prime minister 'Akilisi Pohiva who called the TBC an enemy of government because of its critical coverage.

Mr Uata said the move was because the TBC was in financial crisis and content was unpopular.

However the journalists' lawyer, Clive Edwards, said it was unlawful and he was preparing breach of contract proceedings.