Motion raised to send Tonga PM overseas for health assessment

Lord Tu'ilakepa and Tevita Lavema'au moved that the house send 'Akilisi Pohiva for an assessment, and that a report on his health be sent back to parliament.

They also pushed for their no-confidence motion against Mr Pohiva to be heard yesterday, parliament's final sitting day.

The Speaker did not respond to the requests.

The opposition - which largely consists of nobles - has repeatedly tried to have Mr Pohiva ousted, despite him voters returning him to power last year with an increased majority.


Tonga's PM out of hospital and 'in good health'

'Akilisi Pohiva had been in the local Intensive Care Unit since the 5th of January and was unable to attend the opening of Parliament six days later.

However, the prime minister did make a brief appearance at the swearing of MPs on 18 January but was accompanied by a doctor and left early.

The Prime Minister's Office said Mr Pohiva was discharged over the weekend and contrary to local media reports he was not suffering from cancer.

It is the first official statement on the prime minister's health since he was admitted to hospital.


Tongan noble says PM plans are unconstitutional

Prime Minister's 'Akilisi Pohiva wants to review the Tonga Broadcasting Commission because he says the broadcaster is not doing its job of facilitating government work.

RNZ reports he described the TBC as "an enemy of government" and said the services may be better carried out by a different provider.

However Lord Fusitu'a said any move to shut down the TBC would be in breach of the constitution.

He said there was also a Tonga Broadcasting Act which would need to be revoked and would have far-reaching ramifications.

Tonga PM laments being stymied by officials

Kaniva Pacific reported the prime minister as saying this was a big problem for him and he found it hard to cope.

He said the way the Cabinet and the Privy Council existed at present showed their responsibilities were not "well defined."

Mr Pohiva said the government needs the power to ensure the CEOs, government commissioners and the Attorney General did what the government wanted for the benefit of the people.

No confidence motion to be submitted in Tonga next week

RNZ reports Noble MP Lord Vaea says the government has underperformed, particularly when it comes to the budget and changes to the education sector.  

Lord Vaea first spoke of a no-confidence motion three weeks ago.

He hasn't officially made a submission but plans to do so next week.

This week the government failed in an attempt to get a two-week adjournment of parliament until some of their MPs returned from overseas.

Mr Pohiva also announced a meeting on education reforms in a last ditch effort to get people on board with the various changes.

Shooting threat against Prime Minister revealed, but Pohiva says he knows who made the threat

Lord Tu’ilakepa revealed the shooting threat in Parliament yesterday, saying in Tongan: “It was a dangerous message.”

The Noble made the claim during a heated debate that grew out of allegations about the misuse of school funds and ended with the Police Minister warning Parliamentarians to watch their language.


Tkatchenko meets Tonga PM and team``

And Pohiva has revealed that Tonga needs about K500 million (US$165.7 million) to host the next Pacific Games in 2019.

Tonga’s annual budget is about K650 million (US$215.4 million)and with a population of about 120,000, they can only do little to support themselves.

The Tonga PM is in Port Moresby to follow up on a pledge by his PNG counterpart last year to help fund Tonga’s preparation of the Games.

Sports and Tourism Minister Justin Tkatchenko met the visiting prime minister and his delegation who arrived on a commercial flight.


Tongan Government provides a guide on release of information to the public

A statement issued by the Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet, Dr Palenitina Langa'oi assured the people of Tonga that Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva and his Cabinet value transparency, accuracy and the timely release of information to the public, however within the boundaries of the Freedom of Information policy.


Domestic concerns come first for Tonga PM

This week 'Akilisi Pohiva joined his Solomon Islands and Vanuatu counterparts as notable Pacific absentees from the meetings.