Dr Michael Horowitz assesses Pōhiva’s government as vote of no confidence looms

    The chance for Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva’s government to survive the upcoming vote of no confidence will come under scrutiny next week at the Auckland University of Technology Thursday 26.

    Dr Michael Horowitz, Academic Dean, ‘Atenisi Institute, and Visiting Research Fellow at the Pacific Media Centre will conduct a seminar and speak on the topic: “Can the Democracy Coalition retain power in Tonga?”

    Opposition Leader Lord Vaea has told Kaniva News last week his motion of vote of no confidence against the government still stands.

    Asked when exactly he would submit it Lord Vaea said  the no confidence motion will be processed when the House will resume next week January 30.

    Introducing the seminar in a statement the director Professor of the Pacific Media Centre David Robie said: “Twenty-two years after Tonga’s insurgent “constitutional convention” of 1992, a coalition of democrat and independent MPs elected the founding leader of the Democracy Party, ‘Akilisi Pōhiva, Prime Minister. Within five months, a contingent of a raucous demonstration of the Catholic Women’s League – a former pillar of the democratic movement – was chanting “Heigh-hee, heigh-ho, ‘Akilisi’s gotta go”; by October 2015, the former Education Minister was demanding the PM’s detachment from that portfolio. Yet a threat by the putative leader of the aristocratic opposition to bring down the coalition – lodged last August in Auckland – has yet to be realised. As the coalition government embarks on its third year, is it possible to assess its durability?

    About Dr Horowitz: Dr Horowitz is academic dean of the university at ‘Atenisi Institute in Tonga, which is planning to establish a media academy on its second campus in the ‘Isileli district of Nuku’alofa. He holds US postgraduate degrees in social science from the New School in New York and the College of Public Affairs at Oregon’s Portland State University.

    Dr Horowitz’s analyses of US politics and culture have appeared in the Village Voice, Playboy, and the Psychiatric Times, among other periodicals, while academic articles and reviews have been regionally published in Sites, Journal of Pacific History and Journal of Pacific Affairs.


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