Pōhiva’s letters firing Deputy Siaosi Sovaleni and Finance Minister Tēvita Lavemaau

    Tongaʻs new Minister of Finance Dr Pōhiva Tuʻionetoa has confirmed to Kaniva News this morning he received a letter yesterday Monday 4 from Prime Minister ʻAkilisi Pōhiva which showed the former Deputy Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni and former Minister of Finance Tēvita Lavemaau had been sacked.

    Hon. Tuʻiʻonetoa said he has received another letter from Hon. Pōhiva informing Lord Maʻafu that he had been appointed as Deputy Prime Minister. Hon. Poasi Tei took over from Sovaleni as Minister of MEIDECC.

    Another letter sent to Hon. Tuʻiʻonetoa showed he had been picked by the Prime Minister as new Minister of Finance.

    “I have yet to receive my letter of official appointment from the king. But it was often a long process as it depends on when the king becomes available”, Hon. Tuʻiʻonetoa said in Tongan.

    The dismissals of the two ministers and the reshuffle of three ministers to replace the vacant posts were all effective from Friday 1, Hon. Tuʻiʻonetoa said.

    The letter to Sovaleni read:

    “I hereby wish to inform you, that I made recommendation to His Majesty King Tupou VI , on Friday 1st September 2017, in accordance with clause 51 (3) (a) of the Act of Constitution of Tonga, to revoke your appointment as Minister of Metrology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, effective from Friday 1st September, 4.30pm.”

    The letter to Lavemaau read:

    “I hereby wish to inform you, that I made recommendations to His Majesty King Tupou VI to revoke your appointment as Minister of Finance & National Planning, in accordance with clause 51 (3) (a) of the Act of Constitution of Tonga, effective from Friday 1st September, 4.30pm, on Friday 1st September 2017″

    Poʻoi said on Sunday the Prime Minister had submitted the letter to dismiss the ministers to the king on Friday evening.

    He said a message from the Lord Chamberlain has confirmed she had handed in the letter to His Majesty.

    Confusion

    The reports of dismissals by other media had confused public with Radio New Zealand reported yesterday Hon. Pōhiva has denied what Kaniva News had reported about former Deputy and former Minister of Finance.

    “The Kaniva News service has reported that Mr Pohiva had sacked his deputy prime minister, Siaosi Sovaleni, and the finance minister, Tevita Lavemaau.

    But Mr Pohiva who has today become the chair of the sub-regional body, the Polynesian Leaders Group, said there was no truth to the Kaniva report”, Radio New Zealand reported.

    Matangi Tonga report said: “Tonga’s caretaker government is currently in turmoil as Tongans are waiting to find out who is officially the Acting Prime Minister after the Prime Minister Hon ‘Akilisi Pohiva left to attend an overseas meeting last week”.

    It tried in vain to get confirmation from the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday.

    The website also said that “no names have been forthcoming to replace Tevita Lavemaau.”

    The Matangi Tonga’s and Radio New Zealandʻs reports come  two days after our first report cited a cabinet spokesperson who confirmed to us on Friday it was true the two ministers had been sacked.

    On Saturday Tongan language Television Programme TNEWS producer Sētita Millar reported on Facebook she had interviewed Hon. Pōhiva on Friday evening and the Prime Minister has confirmed to her he had sacked Sovaleni and Lavemaau.

    On Saturday night Hon. Pōhiva had confirmed to Katalina Tohi of Radio Tonga Broadcom FM. 87.5 and Tonga Daily News from Apia, Samoa he had sacked the ministers effective from Friday September 1.

    Dismissal process

    The Prime Minister has power to dismiss any of his ministers according to the constitution even if his government was in caretaker mode but he has to inform the king about the dismissal.

    The constitution says:

    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.

    For more information:

    PM Pōhiva has sacked Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

    Rejection of TP$60,000 proposal may have angered Deputy and Finance Minister, PM says

    1 COMMENT

    1. Kuo tufaki atu ‘aneafi ‘ano Mōnite ko hono 4 ʻo Sepitemá ʻa e tohi kapusi ʻo e ʻEiki Tokoni Palēmia ki muʻá Siaosi Sovaleni pehē ki he Minisitā Paʻanga ki muʻá, Tēvita Lavemaau mei he ʻEiki Palēmia ʻo Tongá, fakatatau ʻeni ki ha fakamatala ʻa e Minisitā Paʻanga foʻoú Dr. Pohiva Tuʻiʻonetoa.

      Fakatatau kia Tuʻiʻonetoá ʻoku kei fakatatali ʻa hono fakanofo ia fakataha mo e ongo minisitā ko eé kuo fokotuʻu ko e fetongī ki Heʻene ʻAfió. Naʻá ne toe pehē foki lolotonga e fakatatali ki he Tuʻí kuo ʻosi kamata lau ʻa e ngaahi fehikitaki ki he lakanga foʻoú mo hono tuli ʻo e ongo minisitaá pe ia mei he ʻaho Falaite 1.

      Naʻe fakamahino mai mei a Poʻoi Pōhiva foki ko e sekelitali taautaha ia ʻa e ʻEiki Palēmiá ʻaneuhu ʻi ha ʻimeili ki he Kanivá pea ʻave tatau ki he Sekelitali Pulé ʻoku teʻeki aʻutaki mai ha tohi tali ʻa ʻEne ʻAfió ki he fokotuʻu atu ko ia ke tuli ʻa e ongo minisitaá peá ke ne fokotuʻu ʻa e ongo minisitā foʻoú mo e tokoni palēmiá.

      Ko e tokoni palēmia foʻou kuo fokotuʻú ko Looti Maʻafu kae fetongi ʻe Poasi Tei ʻa e ngaahi potungāue ʻa Sovalení ne ʻiloa ko e MEIDECC.

      Fakatatau ki he konisitūtoné ʻoku kei ʻi he mafai pe ʻo e ʻEiki Palēmiá neongo e hoko ʻa hono puleʻangá ko e puleʻanga fakataimí ʻa hono kapusi pe fokotuʻu ha minisitā foʻou.

      Ka kuopau ke ne ʻave ʻa e fokotuʻu ki Heʻene ʻAfió ʻo fakahā ki ai ke ne ʻafioʻi pea ʻe fai mai leva ʻa e tohi ʻe Heʻene ʻAfió ʻo fakahā ʻa e kapusi kuo faí pea mo e fokotuʻu foʻoú ki he kau minisitā ko iá.

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