King Tupou VI has ordered three petitions attacking the government to be referred to the Ombudsman.
The petitions have been organised by long standing opponents of the government and have demanded the government be dissolved.
In August November 2017 the Speaker persuaded the king to dissolve Parliament and put the government of ‘Akilisi Pohiva out of office.
Hon. Pohiva’s government was returned at the subsequent election.
In June last year a 3000-strong signature petition to impeach the Prime Minister and seven of his cabinet ministers was submitted to parliament.
A Radio New Zealand report carried by Kaniva Tonga news last week said three petitions with more than 10,000 signatures had been presented to the palace in Nuku’alofa.
Former government minister Clive Edwards presented a petition signed by former politicians.
Edwards said he believed that once a Royal Commission for Investigation was appointed, a caretaker government would need to be put in place.
Noble MP Lord Nuku presented a petition from the country’s nobles.
The third petition was presented by former MP Teisina Fuko from members of the general public.
In a statement issued today, the Lord Privy Seal said the Ombudsman would investigate complaints in the petition, take such action as he considered appropriate and make a determination on any instance of mal-administration which he found to have been established to his satisfaction.
The Ombudsman would report to the king.
The Lord Privy Seal would order the government to fund an Anti-Corruption Commission and pay for the Commissioner to be paid a judge’ level salary to be approved by the king.
The petitions would be referred to the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Commissioner of Police for Investigation and prosecution where a case had been established.
The main points
- King Tupou VI has ordered three petitions attacking the government to be referred to the Ombudsman.
- The petition have been organised by long standing opponents of the government and have demanded the government be dissolved.
For more information
Multiple petitions call for dissolution of Tonga Parliament