Democratic Party meeting uproar as Pohiva’s son-in-law asks government to withdraw CEDAW ratification

    The Democratic Party has rejected a call by Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva’s son-in-law for the government to withdraw its move to ratify CEDAW.

    MP Mateni Tapueluelu insisted the government change its decision to sign up to the Convention on Elimination of All Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

    Tapueluelu’s call left a recent party meeting in uproar.

    In a series of references to certain CEDAW clauses published in the Prime Minister’s newspaper, Kele’a, last week, Tapueluelu made assumptions about what he believed was the chance that ratifying the convention would “push” member countries to legalise abortion and same-sex marriage.

    Tapueluelu said he “earnestly begged” the party meeting to review its decision to sign CEDAW and return it for more public consultation.

    He said people did not understand  CEDAW.

    Tapueluelu said he had worked as an editor for three newspapers for 14 years and did not understood what CEDAW was about.

    He said that if he did not understood the convention, then he questioned how the public could understand it.

    Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva told Kaniva News his cabinet believed CEDAW was good for Tonga and had determined to ratify the United Nations convention based on advice from stakeholders.

    Tapueluelu persuaded his followers to believe the convention was designed to push the legalisation of abortion by claiming there were new born babies found dismembered in US. It was not clear why he referred to US as the country has yet to ratify CEDAW.

    Tapueluelu said if government continued on with its move to ratify the convention the motive was clear –  it was not for the moral advantages of the country but it was for money.

    Tapueluelu was so emotional and at times made some references to the Bible to justify his claims.

    At the end of his story he quoted part of the the Lord’s Prayer that says:

    “Your kingdom come

    “Your will be done on earth

    “As it is in heaven”.

    Agree to stand and believe together as one

    In its campaign for the 2010 and 2014 general elections, the Democrats issued a memorandum of understanding (MOU)  that consisted of a mission and a vision for all party members to  follow.

    The Party announced that all its members signed the MOU before 2014 general election.

    One clause in the official document said all party MPs must “stand together” and “believe” together as one.

    Kaniva News could not contact Prime Minister Pohiva to obtain his opinion about his son-in-law’s stance on CEDAW.

    Three members of the Party were ousted last year after Tapueluelu, the  editor of Kele’a,  repeatedly described them as heke (crossing the floor) and no longer loyal to the party leader Hon. Pohiva.

    He ran articles in Kele’a suggesting that Party MP Dr Sitiveni Halapua was no longer loyal to Hon. Pohiva as he had introduced a new model of his own for the democratic change Pohiva had fought for for years.

    Hon. Pohiva’s publicly announced that Halapua’s model was good in itself, but that it should be campaigned for outside the party, because the Democrats had their own mission to have all members of Parliament elected by the people.

    Dr Halapua eventually announced that he would not stood for Parliament.

    Before last year’s general election, ousted Deputy Party Leader Isileli Pulu accused Tapueluelu of interfering with the party’s candidate list and pushing Hon. Pohiva to endorse the list without the party’s endorsement.

    Pulu claimed the list that Hon. Pohiva endorsed was made up by Tapueluelu and published it in Kele’a before the Party knew about it.

    After a series of exchanges between Tapueluelu and Pulu with other ousted Party MPs including Sione Taione and Falisi Tupou, Hon. Pohiva announced that he has fired them from the Party and he named new candidates to replace them. Tapueluelu then replaced Pulu.

    When asked why he sacked them, Hon. Pohiva said it was because they continue to protest about the controversial party list.

    The main points

    • The Democratic Party has rejected a call by Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva’s son-in-law for the government to withdraw its ratification of CEDAW.
    • MP Mateni Tapueluelu insisted the government change its decision to sign up to the Convention on Elimination of All Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
    • His call left a recent party meeting in uproar.
    • Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva told Kaniva News his cabinet believed CEDAW was good for Tonga and had determined to ratify the United Nations convention based on advice from stakeholders.

    1 COMMENT

    1. Ne lī ki tuʻa ʻe he Paati Temokalati ʻOtuangaʻofá e fokotuʻu e foha-ʻi he-fonó ʻo ʻAkilisi Pohivá ke holomui e puleʻangá mei heʻene ngaʻunu ko ia ke fakamoʻoni ʻi he CEDAW.

      Ne kikihi ʻa e Fakafofonga Fale Alea ko ia ko Māteni Tapueluelu ke liliu ʻe he pātí ʻa ia ko kinautolu foki ʻoku lolotonga puleʻangá ʻene tuʻutuʻuni ko ia ke fakamoʻoni ʻa e puleʻangá ki he konivēsio CEDAW.

      Ne hoko e fokotuʻu atu ʻa Tapueluelu ko ʻení ʻa ia ne fai ki muí ni mai pe ke hihiki leʻo lalahi hake ai ʻa e kau fakatahá ni, ko ʻene lau ia ne pulusi ʻe he pepa Keleʻá.

      ʻI ha ngaahi tuʻutuʻuni mei he konivēsio ke Toʻo Fakaʻaufuli e Fakakehekehe ʻoku Fai ki he Kakai Fefiné pe CEDAW ne pulusi mai ʻi he pepa Keleʻá ʻa ʻAkilisi Pōhivá he uike atú ne fai ai ʻe Tapueluelu ha ngaahi fakamahamahalo ʻo ne pehē ko e ngaahi kupu ʻeni ka tali e konivēsió ngalingali ʻe teke ai ʻe he Puleʻanga Fakatahatahá e ngaahi fonua mēmipá ke fakalaoʻi e fakatōtamá mo e mali tataú.

      Pehē ʻe Tapueluelú ne ne mātuʻaki kole he fakataha ʻa e pātí ke toe vakaiʻi e tuʻutuʻuni ke fakamoʻoni he CEDAW pea ke ʻave ke hoko atu hono tālangaʻi mo e kakaí.

      Ne ne pehē ʻoku ʻikai mahino ki he kakaí ia ʻa e CEDAW.

      Ne pehē ʻe Tapueluelú kuó ne ngāue ʻi ha taʻu ʻe 14 ko e ʻētita ʻi ha ngaahi nusipepa kehekehe ʻe tolu mo e teʻeki pe mahino kiate ia ia ʻa e CEDAW.

      Ne ne pehē kapau ʻoku ʻikai ke mahino ki ai ʻa e CEDAW pea ko e toe hā hake ai ʻa e kakaí.

      Ne fakahā foki ʻe he palēmiá ʻAkilisi Pōhiva ki he Kanivá ʻoku tui ia mo ʻene kapinetí ki he ʻoku lelei lahi ʻa e CEDAW ki Tonga pea kuo nau loto ke tali ʻa e konivesió ni o makatuʻunga ʻi he faleʻi ʻa e ngaahi kautaha ʻoku nau poupou ki he felotoi fakamāmani lahi ko ʻení.

      Ne ngāueʻaki ʻe Tapueluelu heʻene ʻātikoló ha ngaahi fakamatala ke fakatuia ʻaki ‘a hono kau muimuí ʻo hangē ko ʻene lave ki ha fanga kiʻi pēpē ne maʻu kuo ʻosi tofi kongokonga ʻi ʻAmelika. ʻOku ʻikai mahino pe ko e hā ne ne lave ai ki ʻAmeliká he ʻoku teʻeki tali ʻe he fonuá ni ia ʻa e CEDAW.

      Naʻe toe fuʻu māfana ʻaupito ʻa Tapueluelu heʻene fakamatalá ʻo ne kapa atu ai ki he Lotu ʻa e ʻEikí ʻo toʻo mai ke fakaiviaʻaki ʻene malanga ki hono kau muimuí. Ne ne pehē ai:
      “Ke hoko mai ho pule’anga

      “Ke fai ho finangalo ‘i mamani

      “Hange pe ko ia ‘i Hevani…”

      Tukupa ke tu’u fakataha mo tui taha

      Naʻe tuku mai foki ʻe he pātí haʻane fakamatala lolotonga e kemipeini ʻo e 2010 mo e 2014 ki he fili Fale Aleá ʻo ʻomi ai haʻane misiona mo ha vīsone ki he kau mēmipa Fale Alea mo e kau mēmipa ʻo e pātí ke nau muimui ai.

      Ne fakaha ‘e he Paati kuo ‘osi fakamo’oni kotoa ‘ene kau memipa ‘i he tohi aleapau femahino’aki ko ‘eni ki mu’a he fili.

      Ne ʻi ai ha foʻi kupu he fakamatala ko iá ne pehē ai ko e kau mēmipá kuopau ke nau tuʻu fakataha mo tui taha ki he meʻa ʻoku nau malangaʻí.

      Ne ʻikai lava e Ongoongo ʻa e Kanivá ke maʻu ʻa e Palēmiá ke ʻomai angé ko e hā haʻane lau ki he tātākehe ko ʻeni ʻa hono foha-he-fonó ʻo ʻikai tuʻu fakataha mo tui taha mo e kotoa ʻo e pātí ʻo hangē ko enau tukupā ne fakahā ki he kakaí.

      Ne tuku ha kau mēmipa ʻe toko tolu ki tuʻa ʻe he Pātí ʻi he taʻu kuo ʻosí hili ia hano toutou fakamatalaʻi kinautolu ʻe Tapueluelu he Keleʻá ʻa ia ko ia ne ʻētita ʻi he nusipepá ni he taimi ko iá, ko e kau heke pea ʻoku ʻikai ke nau toe kaungā māteaki fakataha mo e takí ʻAkilisi Pōhiva.

      Ne tupu ʻeni mei ha pehē ʻe Tapueluelu kuo ō e faʻahinga ko ʻeni ʻo lea ia ʻi he ngaahi nusipepa ne nau fakafepaki tokua kia ʻAkilisi pea nau poupou ki he fakakaukau ʻa Dr Sitiveni Halapua ne ʻiloa ko e Kafatahá.

      Ne ne toe leleʻi ha ngaahi ʻātikolo ʻi he Keleʻá ʻo fokotuʻu mai ai kuo heke mo Dr Sitiveni Halapua ia ʻo ʻikai toe tuʻu fakataha mo ʻAkilisi koeʻuhi ko ʻene malangaʻi e puleʻanga kafataha ʻa ia ne fepaki ia mo e taukave fakatemokalati ʻa ʻAkilisí.

      Ne iku talaki ai ʻe Pōhiva ki he kakaí ʻo ne pehē ʻoku sai pe mōtolo ia ʻa Halapuá ʻiate ia pe ka ne totonu ke malangaʻi ia ʻi tuʻa kae tuku ange ʻa e pātí ia ke ʻatā ke fakaaʻu ʻene misioná ʻana ki hono fili kotoa ʻe he kakaí ʻa e kau mēmipa ʻo e Fale Aleá.

      Ne iku pe foki ʻo fakahā ʻe Halapua ʻe ʻikai toe kau ia ki he fili Fale Aleá.

      Ki muʻa he fili Fale Alea ʻo e taʻu kuo ʻosí ne tukuakiʻi ai ʻe he Tokoni Taki ʻo e Pātí ʻa Tapueluelu ki heʻene kaunoa hono fili e lisi ʻa e pātí ki he fili Fale Aleá peá ne tenge ʻa ʻAkilisi ke fakahā ko e lisi ia ʻa e pātí lolotonga ko iá ne teʻeki ʻilo ʻa e pātí ia ki ai.

      Naʻe pehē ʻe Pulu ko e lisi ko ia ne fakahā ʻe ʻAkilisi ko e lisi ia ʻa e Pātí ko e faʻu pe ia ʻe Tapueluelu mo ha niʻihi peá ne pulusi ia ʻi he Keleʻá ki muʻa hano tali ʻe he pātí.

      Hili ha felauaki ʻa Tapueluelu mo Pulu pehē ki he ongo mēmipa kehe ʻo e Pātí kau ai ʻa Sione Taione mo Fālisi Tupou, ne fakahā ʻe Pōhiva kuó ne tuku kinautolu ki tuʻa ka ne fakahingoa ʻe ia ha kau kanititeiti foʻou ko honau fetongi. Ne fetongi heni ʻe Tapueluelu ʻa Pulu.

      Ko e taimi ko ē ne ʻeke ai kia ʻAkilisi ko e hā ne tuli ai e faʻahinga ko ʻení peá ne pehē ne tupu mei heʻenau kei hoko atu pe he fakafepaki ange kiate ia tuʻunga he lisi ko ia ʻo e kau kanititeiti maʻa e pātí.

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