In a heated exchange of e-mails leaked to Kaniva News, Party Leader Sēmisi Sika accuses Tongatapu 4 MP Māteni Tapueluelu of breaking glasses and plates at a party meeting and frightening a fellow MP.
Hon Sika said he lost faith in Tapueluelu after the incident.
MP Tapueluelu was contacted for comment.
When contacted by Kaniva to confirm the authenticity of the documents, Sika did not deny the e-mails were real and said: “Believe it or not that’s our pathway to November 18. I hope it is all for the good.”
Tapueluelu, the son-in-law of PTOA founder the late Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva, is also in conflict with MP Siaosi Pohiva, son of ‘Akilisi.
Tapueluelu is known to be disappointed with Sika because of his slowness in releasing his own PTOA Party candidate list.
Sika has made it clear the list is not ready, but Tapueluelu was not satisfied.
He accused Sika of being two-faced and conspiring with Siaosi, to betray the Core Team. Sika denied this vigorously and said Tapueluelu lied too much, was disrespectful and no longer trusted by party members.
Last week Siaosi released his candidate’s list which included Sika. Sika quickly denied his assent to being on the list.
However, MP Mo’ale Finau alleged on Facebook they agreed with Sika and Siaosi to have their names on Siaosi’s list while at the same time they were still members of the PTOA Core Team.
This was the second time Siaosi’s list was released. The first version of the list named New Zealand-based Tongan lawyer Sione Fonua as candidate for Tongatapu 2, the constituency currently represented by Sika.
Other candidates named in the list, including MEIDECC Minister Poasi Tei, have also denied being candidates.
The e-mails make it clear that Tapueluelu wants Sika to resign as party chair.
“I accept your proposal to replace the Chairman as I have asked you (PTOA members) to replace me since last year when we had issues with MP Siaosi Pohiva in which I could not be able to control both of you,” Sika replied.
He denied he was involved in any conspiracy and accused the Tongatapu 4 MP of holding a grudge against Siaosi.
“Leave Siaosi Pohiva’s Party alone, your hatred against MP Siaosi is a big problem to us,” Sika wrote.
Tapueluelu said party members were concerned at reports that Sika had defected (“heke”).
Sika said the party was still struggling to find replacements for Siaosi and MP Saia Piukala.
Tapueluelu replied: “Can you see the cost of your failure to announce the candidate list and make it formal? You are no longer trusted and we will shift to whoever can take care of the team. Clearly you cannot provide that anymore.”
But Sika said: “Siaosi and Saia broke away because they did not want to work together with you. Most of the members of the party’s core team have raised with me their concerns about your aggression and disrespectfulness seen during our meetings. I cannot control you and MP Siaosi during most of our meetings.”
Sika claimed that Tapueluelu had broken glasses and plates at a meeting because he was “disappointed.”
Sika said he lost trust in Tapueluelu after the plate breaking incident. He said two MPs, Hon. Peni Fifita and Hon. Semisi Fakahau were dissatisfied and that MP Losaline Ma’asi was shaking and frightened.