King revokes ʻEtuate Lavulavu as Minister of Tourism

    The king of Tonga His Majesty King Tupou VI has revoked ‘Etuate Sungalu Lavulavu as minister of Tourism effective February 1, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

    The royal command was issued after His Majesty received an advice from Prime Minister Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva, the Office said.

    Hon Pōhiva Tuʻiʻonetoa, the Minister of Police, Prisons and Fire Services,  Ministry of Commerce and Labour,  has been appointed as interim minister of Tourism effective February 1.

    Lavulavu became Minister for Tourism after he was elected to Parliament as the Member for Vavaʻu 16 in the 2014 general election.

    He was stripped of his parliamentary seat on Monday after the Supreme Court found him guilty of bribery and overspending during the 2014 election.

    According to clause 51 (3) (c) of Tonga’s constitution the Supreme Court’s conviction of Lavulavu together with the official announcement by the Speaker that he has been disqualified from Parliament means Lavulavu cannot keep his ministerial position.

    According to the constitution clause 51 (3)  a minister shall retain his position as Minister until –

    (a)     his appointment is revoked by the King on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or in accordance with clause 50B;

    (b)     he dies, resigns or is dismissed from office following impeachment under clause 75; or

    (c)     he becomes ineligible to hold the office in accordance with this Constitution or any other law.

    Tonga’s Acting Attorney General said Lavulavu was appointed to the ministry by Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva because he was elected by the people in the general election.

    He said Lavulavu no longer belonged to the Parliament or the government. He could return to Parliament if he was re-elected.

    He said the captain or vice-captain of a rugby team retained their positions only because they were elected by the team. Once they were dropped from the team they lost their positions.

    Lavulavu has indicated he will appeal his sentence however if the Appeal Court will uphold the Supreme Court’s decision against him clause 40 of Tonga’s Electoral Act 1989 stipulates he “may not be nominated as a candidate at any election held within 5 years of the date when he is ordered to be unseated”.

    1 COMMENT

    1. “ FAKATA’E’AONGA’I ‘A E LAKANGA MINISITĀ ‘O ‘ETUATE SUNGALU LAVULAVU.”

      Kuo finangalo lelei ‘a ‘Ene ‘Afio Tupou VI ke fakata’e’aonga’i ‘a hono fakanofo ‘o ‘Etuate Sungalu Lavulavu ki he Minisitā ‘o e Takimamata, ‘i hono fokotu’u atu ‘e he ‘Eiki Palēmia ‘o Tonga, Hon Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva, ‘o kamata lau mei he Monite ‘aho ‘uluaki ‘o Fepueli, 2016. Na’e makatu’unga eni ‘i he tu’utu’uni ‘a e Fakamaau’anga Lahi pea pehē ki he tu’utu’uni ‘a e Falealea ‘o Tonga ke fakahifo ‘a ‘Etuate Sungalu Lavulavu mei hono sea ‘i he Fale Alea ‘o Tonga ko e Fakafofonga ‘o e Kakai ‘o Vava’u 16, ‘o fakatatau moe Kupu 21 (5) ‘o e Lao ki he Fili Fale Alea.

      Kuo fokotu’u ‘e he ‘Eiki Palēmia, Hon Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva ‘a Hon Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, ‘Eiki Minisitā ki he Fefakatau’aki mo e Ngaahi Ngaue mo e ‘Eiki Minisitā ki he Polisi, Pilisone mo e Tamate Afi ke ne hoko ko e ‘Eiki Minisitā Le’ole’o ki he Potungāue Takimamata ‘o kamata lau mei ‘aho ‘uluaki ‘o Fepueli 2016.

      Na’e hoko foki ‘a ‘Etuate Sungalu Lavulavu ko ‘Eiki Minisitā ‘o e Takimamata ‘i he ‘aho 27 ‘o Novema 2015 pea ngata ki he Monite ‘aho ‘uluaki ‘o Fepueli 2016.

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