The by-election for Tongtapu 4 to elect an MP to replace outgoing MP Mateni Tapueluelu will not be held until the Court of Appeal hears Tapueluelu’s appeal in March, said Parliament’s Chief Clerk Gloria Pōle’o.
Pōle’o told Kanva News this morning the Speaker of the House, Lord Tuʻivakanō and the Electoral Commissioner Pita Vuki had made the decision in a meeting they held yesterday.
Pōleʻo said the by-election for Tongatapu 4 will possibly be held in May if the Court of Appeal will rule against Tapueluelu’s appeal.
Tonga’s Acting Attorney General ‘Aminiasi Kefu said there was no clauses in the Tongan laws or constitution that say a by-election must be pended if a respondent like Tapueluelu lodged an appeal after a court declared his election was void.
However the decision to delay the by-election because Tapueluelu has appealed his disqualification as an MP was a decision made by the Speaker and the Electoral Commissioner.