Hon. ‘Akilisi Pōhiva has rejected Minister for Police and Fire Services, Customs and Revenue, Hon. Tapueluelu’s resignation hours after he quit yesterday.
“Hon Prime Minister Does Not Accept Hon. Mateni Tapueluelu’s Resignation”, a statement from the Prime Minister’s office said last night.
“Although I sympathise with the underlying reasons for Māteni Tapueluelu’s resignation from Cabinet I do not accept it. Instead I will, to the best of my ability, continue to dialogue with him as well as other Members of Cabinet in the hope that we can come to a common understanding on how best to resolve the issues that are behind his resignation,” the statement quoted Hon. Pōhiva as saying.
As Kaniva News reported yesterday, Hon. Pōhiva said Hon. Tapueluelu tendered his resignation because he believed Police Commissioner Steve Caldwell had not done enough in the way he addressed allegations of corruption in the Ministry of Police.
Caldwell told Kaniva News in an email, issues raised in a petition last month addressed to the Minister of Police by the 3 signatories were not new to him.
He said all those issued have been “re-litigated on previous occasions.”
Hon. Pōhiva said his son-in-law, Hon. Tapueluelu was also disappointed because he believed there was a lack of support from Cabinet members over proposals he proposed regarding his power as Minister of Police. This including one he initiated to submit to the Public Service Commission to terminate Caldwell’s employment contract, the Prime Minister said.
Hon. Pōhiva said he believed Hon. Tapueluelu was frustrated after all these did not work.
“I am at the end of my waiting and time may force me to action. At some point the nation will have to come before my Ministry,” Hon. Tapueluelu said in an email.
Hon. Pōhiva said he will do his best, “as I stated earlier, to continue the dialogue with Mateni and the rest of Cabinet to ensure that we address his concerns and retain his membership of Cabinet.”
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