Defeated candidate files petition with Supreme Court, alleging Deputy Prime Minister broke election rules

Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister, Samiu Kiuta Vaipulu, has been accused of breaching election regulations.

The accusations against Hon Vaipulu, who won the seat for Vava’u 15 in the recent elections, have been made by unsuccessful candidate Tomifa Paea.

Paea filed what he described as an “election petition” with the Supreme Court of Tonga against Hon Vaipulu on December 18.

Paea claimed MP Vaipulu hosted free lunches at his resident for about three weeks in breach of Section 21 (Bribery) and Section 24 (Campaign Expenses) of the Electoral Act.

The defeated candidate also claimed that electoral officers, supervisor and returning officers attended these free lunches even though they had been sworn in on November 17, 10 days before the election.

The defeated candidate lodged an earlier complaint with the Election Commission on December 3. He claimed the police were involved in the investigation.

Election Commissioner and Supervisor Pita Vuki said his office was investigating Paea’s complaints.

He said he was not aware a suit had been filed with the Supreme Court, but said Paea was entitled to take this action under the law.

Paea said his legal action against Samiu Vaipulu for breach offences under section 21 (bribery) and section 24(5) (election expenses) was registered at the Supreme Court as Case No. CV91/2014.

He said the Solicitor General and Attorney General should look at the outcome of investigation.

Kaniva News was unable to contact Hon. Vaipulu for comment.

The main points

  • Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister, Samiu Vaipulu, has been accused of breaching election regulations.
  • The accusations against Hon Vaipulu, who won the seat for Vava’u 15 in the recent elections, have been made by unsuccessful candidate Tomifa Paea.
  • Paea filed what he described as an “election petition” with the Supreme Court of Tonga against Hon Vaipulu on December 18, alleging Hon Vaipulu had breached Section 21 (Bribery) and Section 24 (Campaign Expenses) of the Electoral Act.
  • He lodged an earlier complaint with the Election Commission on December 3.

For more information

Tonga Electoral Commission

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.

Latest news

Related news