PM slams Privilege Committee  for  blocking cabinet responses to ‘Amanaki petition 

'Oku 'i lalo ha fakamatala faka-Tonga

Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva has condemned Parliament’s Standing Committee on Privileges for rejecting the government’s formal response to a controversial petition by PSA Head Mele ‘Amanaki.

Speaking exclusively to Kaniva news, Hon. Pohiva said it was totally unfair for Parliament to allow the petition to be released publicly without giving them a chance to respond at the same time.

The petition was submitted to Parliament and aired in public in June and Parliament still had not allowed the response from government’s accused to be released.

As Kaniva news reported earlier, the petition was organised by ‘Amanaki after she was dumped by the Prime Minister’s PTOA Party in the last snap election.

The petition alleged some cabinet members, including the Prime Minister, had breached the constitution.

Other allegations in the petition included embezzlement, breaching the government’s procurement laws and failure to complete ministerial annual reports.

Ministers’ responses

Hon. Pohiva said his response to the petition was submitted to the Privilege Committee, but had been returned twice with recommendations from the committee to edit his reply.

He said the Speaker should have treated their responses with the same spirit he used to treat the Petition.

“He allowed the petition to be aired without scrutinising it and leaving it to the people to make their own decision.

“Why didn’t he do the same thing to our response?”

The system has created all these problems, he said.

Hon. Pohiva said he understood the other Cabinet ministers who had been accused in the petition had had their responses rejected and returned for editing by the Committee.

As  Kaniva news reported recently, some cabinet ministers who were accused in the petition expressed their dissatisfaction about the situation to the news media, including Kaniva news.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Sēmisi Sika, echoed their concerns.

He described the petition as lies from the beginning to the end.

The Ministers of Education, Finance and Labour and Commerce have also denied the allegations that they breached the constitution to the news media.

Parliament unfair

Hon. Pohiva said the Parliament would not be fair unless the system was changed to allow Members of Parliament to appoint the Speaker.

Constitutionally, the Speaker was appointed by the king, but he has to be a member of the nobility.

He said it was dangerous that not only the Speaker and his deputy were nobles, but that they were unaccountable to the majority of the House, which was dominated by people’s MPs.

He said the Auditor General was also under the control of the Speaker.

This meant the Speaker had the power to tell the Auditor General which Ministry or Minister he wanted audited, the Prime Minister said.

“This combination is so dangerous,” Hon. Pohiva said.

“The system allows them to manipulate whatever they want.”

The main points

  • Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva has condemned Parliament’s Privilege Committee for rejecting the government’s formal response to a controversial petition by PSA Head Mele ‘Amanaki.
  • Speaking exclusively to Kaniva news, Hon. Pohiva said it was totally unfair for Parliament to allow the petition to be released publicly without giving them a chance to respond at the same time.
  • The petition was submitted to Parliament and aired in public in June and Parliament still had not allowed the response from government’s accused to be released.

For more information 

Government raises concerns over Parliament delaying their response to petition

Finance, Education Ministers deny PSA head’s accusation against them, saying it was evil-minded

DPM denies PSA head’s allegation he misused Tourism money, says claims based on malice

1 COMMENT

  1. Fakaanga’i lahi ‘e he ‘Eiki Palēmia’ ‘a hono hanga ‘e he Kōmiti Privlege Committee ‘a e Fale Alea ‘o poloka’i ‘enau tali ki he tohi tangi ‘a Mele ‘Amanaki.

    Ko e tu’o ua ‘eni ‘a ‘enau fakafoki e tali ‘a e ‘Eiki Palemia pea kau ai mo e tali ‘a e kau minisita ‘e ni’ihi ne tukuaki’i ‘o fekau ia ‘e he kōmiti ni ke toe fakatonutonu pea to’o e ‘u me’a mei he tali’ kae toki ‘oange ke fakakaukau’i ha taimi ke lau mai ai ki he kakai’.

    Pehe ‘e he ‘Eiki Palēmia ‘oku uesia lahi ‘aupito ‘enau tali hono toe mio’i holo ‘e he Fale Alea.

    Hili ko ia, ‘oatu ngaahi tukuaki’i ta’efakapapau’i ia ‘a Mele ‘Amanaki ‘o faka’atā ia ‘e he Sea ke lau mai ia ki he kakai hala ke ‘ave ki he Kōmiti ko ‘eni ke nau siofi e tukuaki’i kae siofi ‘e kinautolu mo liliu enau tali kuo fai.

    Ne pehē foki ‘e he ‘Eiki Palēmia ko e taha e palopalema ‘oku hulu’i mai heni he ‘oku ‘ikai foki tali ui ‘a e Sea ia ‘o e Fale Alea mo hono tokoni ki he tokolahi taha ‘o e kau memipa Fale Alea ‘a ia ‘oku nau tali ui kinautolu ki he kakai’.

    Pea ka ‘ikai ke liliu ‘a e sisitemi ko ‘eni ke fili mo fakanofo ‘a e Sea’ ‘e he tokolahi taha ‘o e Fale’ ‘e ‘ikai toe sai ‘a e Fale Alea ia.

    Ko e fo’i founga fakavaotā ‘eni kuo taimi ke lī he tasipini veve ‘a e hisitōlia’ he ‘oku’ne tafunaki ‘e ia ha loto fakatupu moveuveu he kakai ‘o e fonua’.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here