Acting Attorney General considers legal action against Tongatapu 4 MP Tapueluelu

    The Office of the Acting Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions is considering taking legal action against Tongatapu 4 MP Mateni Tapueluelu.

    Kaniva News understands Acting Attorney General ‘Aminiasi Kefu has received evidence from the Supreme Court Registry about claims that Hon. Tapueluelu had breached the kingdom’s electoral laws.

    According to a report in Matangi Tonga Online, Kefu said the evidence related to whether or not the MP had an outstanding judgment on the date of nomination registration for the General Election in October 2014.

    An appeal court ruled early this year that Tapueluelu had failed to pay a fine imposed on him in 2011 after a dispute with former MP and Minister of Justice Clive Edwards over an article of defamation in Kele’a newspaper.

    Tapueluelu was then the newspaper’s editor.

    It is a breach of Tongan law if a candidate runs for election when there is a judgment of debt against them.

    In May this year Hon. Tapueluelu made a number of emotional comments about why he did not pay the fine within the timeframe the appeal court ordered.

    He claimed he had donated the money towards the cost of his mother-in-law’s medical treatment in New Zealand.

    Hon. Tapueluelu is the Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva’s son-in-law.

    He entered the political arena for the first time last year after a power struggle within the Tongan  Democratic Party in 2014 in which he clashed with sitting MP for Tongatapu 4 ‘Isileli Pulu.

    Pulu, who was then the Democratic Party’s Deputy Leader, accused Tapueluelu of using his position as editor of PM Pohiva’s Kele’a newspaper to divide the members of the Party so he could bring in his own list of candidates to stand for parliament.

    The disagreement became the focus of media attention. The squabble came to a head after Pohiva, who was then Party Leader, announced he had sacked Pulu and other Party members claiming he could no longer work with them because they keep on criticising his leadership using other media outlets.

    The war between Pulu and Tapueluelu shifted to another level after the Party had to look for a candidate to compete with Pulu for the Tongatapu 4 seat and selected Tapueluelu.

    Tapueluelu won the seat in the 2014 general election. He was one of the youngest MPs to have entered Tonga’s Parliament.

    The main points

    • The Office of the Acting Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions is confident Tongatapu 4 MP Mateni Tapueluelu breached Tonga’s election law.
    • According to Matangi Tonga Online, Acting Attorney General ‘Aminiasi Kefu said he was considering legal action against Tapueluelu.
    • Kaniva News understands the Acting Attorney General’s decision was made after he received evidence from the Supreme Court Registry.
    • An appeal court ruled early this year that Hon. Tapueluelu had failed to pay a fine imposed on him in 2011 after a dispute with former MP and Minister of Justice Clive Edwards over an article of defamation in Kele’a

    For more information

    AG awaits evidence on Tongatapu PR’s alleged debt (Matangi Tonga)

    MP Tapueluelu’s future in balance

    1 COMMENT

    1. Kuo ‘i ai ‘eni ha fakamoʻoni mei he fakamaauʻangá ngali ne ʻi ai e moʻua ʻo e fakafofonga Fale Alea ʻo Tongatapu 4 Māteni Tapueluelu lolotonga ne ne ʻosi lēsisita pea hoko ko e kanititeiti ʻi he fili Fale Alea ʻo e 2014.

      Kuo pehē ʻe he ʻŌfisi ʻo e ʻĀteni Seniale Leʻoleʻó mo e Talēkita Talatalaaki Maʻa e Kakaí ʻAminiasi Kefu kuó ne maʻu ha fakamoʻoni mei he fakamaauʻangá ʻo pehē ne maumauʻi ʻe Māteni e lao filí.

      ʻOku ʻikai ngofua ʻi he lao filí ke lēsisita kanititeiti ha taha lolotonga ʻoku ʻi ai hano moʻua ʻi he fakamaauʻangá. Kuo pehē ai ʻe Kefu ko ʻene tuʻu he taimi ní ʻoku ne fakakaukauʻi leva ke fai hano fakaʻilo ʻo Tapueluelú.

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