Government

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.

Fresh push in New Caledonia to end political stalemate

Sonia Backes of the Caledonian Republicans suggested that the rival anti-independence groups in Congress choose another presidential candidate than Philippe Germain, given his repeated rejection.

Mr Germain has failed twice in two months to secure a majority among the 11 ministers making up the government when they met to elect a president.

Ms Backes said a more conciliatory person needs to be presented as a candidate, suggesting another minister Bernard Deladriere.

She said furthermore there have to be changes to the government's economic policies.

Tonga govt told to be wary over power grab plan

RNZI reports Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva's government is now drafting amendments that would allow it to control the appointments for roles such as the Police Commissioner and the Attorney General, which is currently handled by the Privy Council with the King.

There has been opposition to the government's push from widely differing sectors and the director of Massey University's Pacific Research Centre, Malakai Koloamatangi, agrees, saying it would be about the balance of power, accountability and transparency.

Tongan Nobles to continue efforts to bring down Pohiva government

Aisake Eke was fired from the government of Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva after abstaining in a vote of no confidence.

The vote was brought by most of the Noble members of parliament, and under Tonga's constitution there can't be another one for 12 months.

Motion of no confidence submitted in Tonga

Kaniva Pacific reports the House chief clerk Gloria Pole'o confirmed the move in a letter to MPs on Thursday.

It said the motion was submitted together with supporting documents.

The announcement did not say who submitted the no confidence motion.

The motion will be put to the Parliamentary Privileges Standing Committee for a review today before it will be distributed to all MPs and a date for the motion will be announced.

     

Tongan Government remains firm on agreement with NZ-based Trust

In a statement, the government says it sees no justifiable basis to change that position now.

The statement was issued in response to issues raised by the media in regards to the investment agreement recently executed by the Tongan Government and the Trust.

In respect of the judgment made by the New Zealand High Court against the current Chairman of the Trust, this was a private matter which does not in any shape or form relate to, or affect the Agreement that exists between the Trust and the Tongan Government.