Tonga PM

Tonga PM Pōhiva has sacked Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

It is understood Sovaleni and Lavemaau were dismissed effective from Friday, September 1 at 5pm.

Pōhiva was very disappointed with the ministers, the spokesperson said.

The Ministers were allegedly involved in a conspiracy which led to the king’s decision to dissolve the Parliament ordering fresh general election in November to replace the current MPs and cabinet.

Lord Maʻafu has been appointed the new Deputy Prime Minister while Hon. Poasi Tei took over Sovaleniʻs Minisitry of MEIDECC. Dr Pōhiva Tuʻiʻonetoa is the new Minister of Finance.

Tonga's PM apologises to NZ leader Bill English for behavior of seasonal workers

Last night, 1 NEWS revealed a group of 15 workers were sent home after allegations they were giving underage girls alcohol, marijuana and money in exchange for sex.

The number of incidents involving seasonal workers has almost doubled in the last year to 40.

They were mostly alcohol-fuelled and included stealing cars and crashing, an assault and exposing to a ten-year-old girl.

In response to the 1 NEWS investigation, Akilisi Pohiva said incidents involving Tongans may have caused some uneasiness between the two countries.

Tonga leader says media misquoted his China comments

Earlier this month, it was reported Mr Pohiva said the Chinese would be running the country in a few years as Tonga's public servants did not work as hard as Chinese workers.

He also said Chinese businesses in Tonga have not been paying tax.

But in a press release this week the prime minister blamed the media for misunderstanding what he said.

Radio Tonga quoted the prime minister saying Tonga and China had enjoyed warm relations for nearly 20 years and this relationship continued to flourish and deepen.

 

Photo: AFP 'Akilisi Pohiva 

Tongan PM wants public broadcaster closed for not supporting his government

The Tonga Broadcasting Commission would be either closed down or sold off under legislation the Prime Minister says he intends to introduce.

Mr Pohiva has had very public differences with the TBC and its journalists in the past, calling for reporter Viola Ulakai to be sacked for asking tough questions of him at a press conference.

Tongan publisher Kalafi Moala says the Prime Minister appears to have decided to do something about his concerns, but he may not have much support from the rest of cabinet.

Tongan PM not worried about no-confidence motion

The motion was submitted this week and signed by seven Noble Representatives and three People's MPs including former Deputy Prime Minister Samiu Vaipulu and sacked Internal Affairs Minister Fe'ao Vakata.

'Akilisi Pohiva said he continued to have the majority support of the 26-member parliament.

The motion is currently before the Parliamentary Privileges Standing Committee before a date for the motion is announced.

Mr Pohiva said he wanted to know on what basis the motion had been submitted.

No confidence motion against Tongan PM evaporates in House

The vote was scheduled for Monday and was to be brought by Lord Vaea, one of the Tongan nobles, but it did not eventuate.

When Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva visited New Zealand at the start of the month, he brought Lord Vaea with him, introducing him as the leader of the opposition.

Mr Pohiva said he was trying to be bipartisan and said John Key does the same when visiting Tonga.

Tongan noble MP confirms upcoming vote of no confidence in PM Akilisi Pohiva

The 15 August challenge comes from the nine Noble MPs in the 26 seat parliament, citing a series of policy mistakes that have taken place recently.               

Noble MP Lord Vaea told Radio Australia several independents will support the vote, and he is even expecting some defections from the government.

“We believe that over the last 18 months the government has not performed as we anticipated. The way the PM has been performing we feel he hasn't come up to the standard expected of him.

Tongan PM pulls out of international meetings

'Akilisi Pohiva has spent the last few weeks in Auckland, undergoing medical tests.

The Prime Minister's Office announced at the beginning of the month that Pohiva would travel to Auckland for what was described as a medical routine check-up.

He was still expected to attend a number of international meetings this month.

However the office now says he will not go to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta, the France-Oceania Summit in Paris or the UN COP21 climate change meeting which is also in Paris.