14 Jun 2018

Petition calling for investigation into Tongan PM tabled

4:00 pm on 14 June 2018

A petition calling for an investigation into Tonga's Prime Minister and members of his cabinet has been tabled in Parliament despite objections to it taking up parliamentary time.

Tonga Prime Minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva

Tonga Prime Minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva Photo: RNZ Pacific / Koro Vaka'uta

The prime minister 'Akilisi Pohiva had urged parliament to defer the petition, which alleges he and his cabinet colleagues breached the constitution, so that the budget could be debated.

The petition asks that an audit be carried out on some government department's budgets from 2015 until now.

It also proposes the impeachment of seven Cabinet Ministers including Mr Pohiva.

Mr Pohiva wants parliament to debate the proposed budget because there's only five or six days left to do so.

However 'Eua Noble MP Lord Nuku maintained it was not parliament's responsibility to debate the petition.

The Minister for Labour, Commerce and Industries Tu'i Uata insisted the petition was not related to the budget.

But the Speaker Lord Fakafanua ruled the petition was related to the budget as it had explicitly asked for the debates to be delayed.

He said parliament should proceed to any legislation concerning revenue, estimates of expenditures and all related petitions.

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