Noble MPs considered in search for Vakatā’s replacement, PM Pōhiva says

    Tongan Prime Minister ʻAkilisi Pōhiva said one of the nobles could be chosen to replace the Minister for Internal Affairs Feʻao Vakatā.

    As Kaniva News reported on September 15, Hon. Vakatā was dismissed after a complaint from the Ministry’s Director of Women’s Affairs, Tupou ‘Ahau Fakakovi, that he hurled a glass of wine at her in Vavaʻu last month.

    Hon. Pōhiva told Kaniva News he would meet with his Cabinet ministers today to discuss the matter.

    He mentioned Lord Vaea, Lord Tu’ihangana and Lord Tuʻiʻāfitu as potential candidates.

    When asked to confirm whether he could accept a recommendation from the majority of his Cabinet ministers to appoint one of the nobles Hon. Pōhiva said it would be a difficult decision for him.

    “The problem is that there are four MPs chosen by the people that have yet to be given ministerial posts,” Hon. Pohiva said.

    “That is MP Penisimani Fifita, MP Māteni Tapueluelu, MP Veivosa Taka and MP Akosita Lavulavu.”

    He said he wanted to consult Cabinet before making any decision.

    He said he understood some of his ministers might want one of the nobles to be appointed to the post.

    He declined to reveal to Kaniva News whether he already had somebody in mind for the post.

    Confidence

    Hon Pohiva said he wished the vote of no confidence threatened by the nobles had been held.

    He said he did not want to underestimate the nobles’ threat, but he just ignored it and concentrate on his job.

    He said what he had heard so far about the motion was that there was no solid claims against his government.

    The Prime Minister said he trusted his cabinet ministers to stand by him.

    Hon Pōhiva said he strongly believed the nobles were split over the motion of vote of no confidence and some did not support it.

    As Kaniva News has reported the Nobles leader, Lord Vaea, has claimed they have  the number to topple Hon Pōhiva’s government.

    He said they had already talked with some of the independent Cabinet Ministers and believed they would cross the floor on the day of the vote and side with them.

    The main points

    • Tongan Prime Minister Ê»Akilisi Pohiva said one of the nobles could be chosen to replace the outgoing Minister Fe’ao Vakata.
    • Vakata was dismissed after a complaint from a senior female civil servant that he hurled a glass of wine at her in Vava’u last month.
    • Pohiva told Kaniva News he would meet with his Cabinet ministers today to discuss the matter.
    • He mentioned Lord Vaea, Lord Tu’ihangana and Lord Tu’i’afitu as potential candidates.

    For more information

    King dismisses Tonga’s Minister of Internal Affairs

    Tongan cabinet minister to resign

    Noble MPs vow to topple government with no confidence motion when Parliament resumes

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