“No one registered PTOA name…we are free to do what we do,” says Movement Leader after Party warns followers against inducing voters

    A leader of the PTOA Global Movement has rejected a warning by the Democratic Party and said they were free to help people who were in urgent needs in Tonga.

    PTOA Party Leader Semisi Sika (L), PTOA Global Movement Leader Sharon Minna Sekona

    Sharon Minna Sekona said no one had trademarked the name PTOA (Democratic Party) and no legal body owned it.

    Her statements came after the Party’s core team released a statement last week saying the Party was told people had built houses, staged fundraising, offered gifts and donated food under the PTOA name.

    The statement said the Party had not authorised any of these activities  and they were not aligned with what founder ‘Akilisi Pohiva had set out in the Party’s manifesto.

    The statement said  Pohiva had taught that the nation could not be built with offering freebies.

    “The will of the people could not be bought using goods or money. The will of the people can only be influenced by enlightenment and knowledge,” it said in Tongan.

    “Therefore if anyone or group departs from what ‘Akilisi has taught, they could be regarded as betrayers and misleading people. They have departed the Party’s mission and vision.”

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    Sekona took to Facebook and blasted Party Leader Semisi Sika for releasing a statement she described as dictatorial and illegal .

    She said the Movement supported pushes for a more democratic system in Tonga by providing assistance and help for those who were in urgent needs.

    She said they did this through donations and assistances from Tongans overseas to help the poor in Tonga.

    The Party’s statement has infuriated some of the Movement’s followers who vowed not to vote for the Party MPs in the coming election.

    Meanwhile, supporters of the Party MPs including the PTOA International Movement said the Core team had made the right call.

    “Oil and water don’t mix,” said Rev ‘Inoke Masima on the International Movement’s page, referring to the relationship between the Global Movement and the Party.

    Last month Kaniva News reported that the PTOA Global Movement had launched a Housing for the Poor scheme, with new houses in Veitongo and one in Holeva, Vava’u.

    They were funded by the PTOA Global Movement in collaboration with PTOA Auckland Aotearoa and some chapters in New Zealand and Australia.

    The president of the PTOA Auckland Aotearoa chapter, Vainikolo Taufa, said the housing was an attempt to put the late Prime Minister’s mission into practice.

    Rifts

    There have been rifts in the Democratic movement  since the Party’s core team was heavily criticised by the Global team after a meeting in April to decide the fate of MP Mateni Tapueluelu.

    The Party later said Hon. Tapueluelu was forgiven but never released any information of why he was forgiven after he was accused of causing the Party to lose the government after the death of ‘Akilisi Pohiva.

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