Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva

Tonga prime minister told to seek proper advice

There have been a series of walk outs from parliament over the past week as the government tries to push through six bills under urgency.

The opposition, mostly made up of nobles, has asked Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva to explain why the bills are urgent.

This comes after a series of petitions to King Tupou VI calling for Mr Pohiva to be removed, and Massey University's Malakai Koloamatangi, himself a Tongan, says it is a very serious situation for the country.

Tonga's Pohiva expected to retain parliamentary seat

'Akilisi Pohiva's tenure was cut short in August when the King dissolved parliament amid allegations the government had been acting unconstitutionally.

Mr Pohiva had been criticised for his leadership style but survived a motion of no-confidence.

Kalafi Moala, who runs the Taimi Media Network, said Mr Pohiva's constituency had the most candidates this election.

He said Mr Pohiva may still have enough support to return to parliament but not to the prime ministership.

Concerns raised with Tongan king over media issues

This month the government forced the public broadcaster's chair to resign and asked the board to sack the general manager.

RNZI reports the Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva had earlier complained the broadcaster did not support government enough and was unfairly critical.

However, the president of the Public Media Alliance, Paul Thompson, said a public service broadcaster was all about protecting the interests of citizens and acting independently of the state and the government.

Tonga's Pohiva survives no confidence vote

The nobles, with some support from independents in the parliament, could muster just ten votes to the 14 in support of the prime minister.

Mr Pohiva, the first commoner elected to lead the country, has been prime minister for just over two years.

The country's nobles have been leading a campaign to remove him, but Mr Pohiva said their complaints had no basis.

Meanwhile it has been reported that Lord Ma'afu, who is a member of Mr Pohiva's government, has been abandoned by the country's other nobles.